Asian stocks rose after China’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate, stepping up efforts to cushion a deepening economic slowdown.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 percent to 136.15 as of 9 a.m. in Tokyo after closing Friday at the highest since Aug. 19. The gauge climbed 9.7 percent this month through the end of last week as investors pushed back expectations for the first U.S. interest-rate increase and central banks signaled further measures will be enacted to stave off weak economic growth. Late on Friday, China said it would cut rates for the sixth time in a year, and lowered the amount of deposits banks must hold as reserves.
Japan’s Topix index gained 1.2 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.4 percent. New Zealand markets are closed for a holiday, while markets in Hong Kong and China have yet to open.
China’s one-year lending rate was cut to 4.35 percent from 4.6 percent, the People’s Bank of China said on its website on Friday, while the one-year deposit rate will fall to 1.5 percent from 1.75 percent. Reserve requirements for all banks were lowered by 50 basis points, with an extra 50 basis point reduction for some institutions.
China’s Communist Party meets Monday to map out a blueprint for 2016-2020 in an economy confronting an era of sub-7 percent growth for the first time since Deng Xiaoping opened the nation to the outside world in the late 1970s.
The Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve decide on monetary policy this week as central banks worldwide seek to revive slowing global growth and lackluster inflation. Traders see a 6 percent chance of a Fed rate increase this week, according to futures data compiled by Bloomberg.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent. The S&P 500 climbed 1.1 percent on Friday to cap a fourth weekly gain amid better-than-estimated earnings.