Without a doubt, it was not an easy day for stocks in Asia-Pacific. They mostly fell on Friday, as China did not lower interest rates despite analysts’ expectations for more stimulus.
Investors closely monitored mainland Chinese stocks, with many major markets in the region closed for the Good Friday holiday.
Mainland Chinese stocks have been under pressure for much of the past week, as the country faces the worst Covid-19 outbreak since the start of the pandemic. The country’s commercial hub remains under lockdown. Authorities in Shanghai are struggling to control the situation.
Mainland Chinese stocks declined on Friday. The Shanghai composite dropped 0.45% to end its trading day at 3,211.24. The Shenzhen component fell 0.56% to close at 11,648.57.
Even though investors were hoping for more policy support ahead, China decided not to lower interest rates on Friday. The country’s central bank left medium-term rates unchanged despite expectations for more stimulus given the Covid-induced slowdown.
Markets in Hong Kong, Australia, India, and New Zealand are closed for the Good Friday holiday.
In economic data, China released home prices data, which showed the world’s second-largest economy’s new residential prices stalling for a second straight month in March. Notably, they rose 1.5% compared to a year ago.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.29% to close at 27,093.19. The Topix fell 0.62% to end its trading day at 1,896.31. Shares of SoftBank Group dropped 1.21% and Sony fell 2.52%.
South Korea’s Kospi also declined on Friday. It fell 0.76% to close at 2,696.06.
U.S. stocks on Thursday
U.S. stocks declined on Thursday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell, capping a losing week as investors analyzed earnings results from major banks and rising inflation.
The S&P 500 dropped 1.21% to 4,392.59. The Nasdaq Composite declined 2.14% to 13,351.08. In the meantime, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 113.36 points, or 0.33% to 34,451.23.