Asian Shares Mixed As China Keeps Key Rate Steady

Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday, as bond yields continued to rise and China held key interest rates for corporate and household loans steady despite COVID and Ukraine woes.

Hawkish comments from more Fed officials and Netflix Inc.’s slump in after-hours trading on Wall Street due to lower-than-expected subscriber numbers also kept investors on edge.

Shares of the U.S.-based streaming service plunged 26 percent in after-hours trading after its quarterly subscriber loss.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 1.4 percent to 3,151.05, with growth and Shanghai lockdown concerns weighing on sentiment. Shanghai allowed 4 million more people out of their homes today as anti-virus controls that shut down China’s biggest city eased.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.4 percent to 20,944.67 amid disappointment over China not cutting lending rates.

Japan’s Nikkei Index climbed 0.9 percent to 27,217.85 after data showed that exports grew 14.7 percent year-on-year and imports grew an annual 31.2 percent in March.

The deficit of 412 billion yen ($3.2 billion) for March was lower than the previous month’s 670 billion yen but was quadruple analysts’ estimates.

Uniqlo clothing shop owner Fast Retailing surged 2.5 percent, and technology investor SoftBank Group rose 1.4 percent.

Automakers Honda, Toyota and Nissan soared 4-5 percent on a weaker yen, while chip-related stocks such as Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings fell 1-2 percent.

Australian markets ended on a flat note, as gains in the healthcare sector offset losses across the mining and energy sectors.

Private hospital operator Ramsay Health soared over 24 percent after it received a $20 billion bid from a consortium led by private equity giant KKR.

Seoul stocks recovered from an early slide to end on a flat note as investors remained wary of uncertainties over U.S. monetary policy and stagflation.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX-50 Index rallied 1.1 percent to 11,966.19, with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Auckland Airport and Mainfreight all rising around 3 percent.

U.S. stocks snapped two straight days of losses to end sharply higher overnight on the back of strong housing data and a steep drop in oil prices.

The major U.S. averages rose between 1.5 percent and 2.2 percent as earnings optimism helped offset concerns over rising bond yields.

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