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China keeps LPR steady, New Zealand exits recession

China kept its one- and five-year loan prime rates unchanged at 3.45% and 3.95% respectively.

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Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower on Thursday as China kept its one- and five-year loan prime rates unchanged.

The one-year loan prime rate serves as a benchmark for most corporate and household loans, while the five-year rate serves as a peg for property mortgages. The one-year LPR currently stands at 3.45%, while the five-year LPR is at 3.95%.

Earlier this week, the People’s Bank of China kept the 1-year medium-term lending facility rate steady at 2.5%.

Mainland China’s CSI 300 dipped 0.72% to close at 3,503.28, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell by 0.65% as of the final hour of trading.

Top losers in Hong Kong include hot pot chain Haidilao which dropped 6.74%, as well as Shenzhou International Group and Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, down 3.42% and 3.95%, respectively.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.37% to close at 2,807.63, while the small-cap Kosdaq fell 0.43% to end at 857.51. Shares of HMM, the country’s largest container ship, climbed more than 3%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.16%, ending the day at 38,633.02. The broad-based Topix slipped 0.11% to 2,725.54.

The Taiwan Weighted Index rose 0.85%, finishing the day at 23,406.10 after touching new highs for the third day in a row.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was flat. Shares of Mexican-themed fast-food chain Guzman y Gomez soared as much as 39% in its market debut in Australia on Thursday. The stock closed 36% higher on the first day of trading.

Data out of New Zealand showed the economy exited a technical recession, growing 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year and beating Reuters poll expectations of a 0.1% expansion. On a year-on-year basis, the economy grew 0.2%.

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