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Asian Markets Rise; China Keeps Loan Prime Rate Unchanged for January

By Alex Ho - Asian markets were mostly higher in morning trade on Monday. China’ stocks traded higher as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) kept the loan prime rate unchanged.

China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.4% by 11:48 PM ET (03:48 GMT), while the Shenzhen Component rose 1.0%.

The PBOC kept the one year unchanged at 4.5% and the five year loan prime rates at 4.8% for January. It was the second month in a row that the central bank left borrowing cost unchanged.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index underperformed its regional peers and lost 0.4% in morning trade.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.2%. The Bank of Japan will meet for its first policy meetings this week but is not expected to make any major changes.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.8%.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.4%.

Elsewhere, the IMF is to release its adjusted global economic forecast on Monday in Davos. On Friday IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the interim trade deal between Washington and Beijing will reduce - but not eliminate - uncertainty that has acted as a drag on global growth.

The organization had previously estimated that global trade tensions would shave 0.8% off international economic growth.

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