Asia Markets

South Korea drops 2%; China keeps benchmark lending rate unchanged

Key Points
  • Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday.
  • China's one-year and five-year loan prime rates were both left unchanged on Monday.
  • Netease shares in the city skidded 6.22% in Monday afternoon trade after the firm announced a delay to the release of its eagerly anticipated video game Diablo Immortal in China, just days before it was expected to launch officially.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday, as investors monitored market reaction to the release of China's latest benchmark lending rates.

In South Korea, the Kospi led losses among the region's major markets as it dropped 2.04% to close at 2,391.03, with shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics declining and chipmaker SK Hynix both declining close to 2% each.

The Shanghai Composite in mainland China closed mildly lower at 3,315.43 while the Shenzhen Component gained 1.265% to 12,487.13.

China's one-year and five-year loan prime rates were both left unchanged on Monday. That matched the forecast in a Reuters poll, where a vast majority of respondents had predicted no change to both the one-year or the five-year LPRs.

It's difficult to find a place to hide, with bond prices moving … together with the equity market.
Pu Yonghao
Senior Advisor, Fountainhead Partners

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 0.42%, closing at 21,163.91. Shares of life insurer AIA gained 1.32%.

Netease shares in the city skidded 6.68% after the firm announced a delay to the release of its eagerly anticipated video game Diablo Immortal in China, just days before it was expected to launch officially.

Shares of Alibaba shares in Hong Kong also fell 0.1%. Reuters reported Friday that China's central bank has accepted Alibaba-affiliate Ant Group's application to form a financial holding firm, reviving hopes for a potential public listing for Ant.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan finished the trading day 0.74% lower at 25,771.22 while the Topix index fell 0.92% to 1,818.94.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.64% on the day to 6,433.40.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.15%.

"It's difficult to find a place to hide, with bond prices moving … together with the equity market," Pu Yonghao, senior advisor at Fountainhead Partners, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Monday. Bonds and stocks traditionally acted as hedges against each other, but are now moving in tandem instead, he explained.

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note recently hit its highest in 11 years ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve announcing its