Asian stock markets rose Monday, shrugging off a weekend move by China’s central bank to raise interest rates in a bid to rein in soaring inflation.
In thin trading with some Asian markets closed for a holiday, investors downplayed China’s second rate hike in just over two months as a widely expected move. Traders had speculated that China would further tighten its monetary policy to cool inflation.
“The interest rate hike this time seems not out of line with investors’ expectation, therefore it hasn’t made a lot of negative impact on market sentiment for now,” said Xu Zhiyuan, an analyst at Capital-Edge Investment & Management in Shanghai. “In the long-term, we think mainland markets will still go up due to the growing macro-economy and government control.”
The Shanghai Composite index gained 18.75 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,854.91 in the morning session while the Shenzhen Composite Index for China’s smaller, second market rose 9.46 or .07 percent to 1,301.48.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 9,680 points, or 0.9 percent, to 10,375.99 while South Korea’s Kospi was up 2.84, or 0.1 percent, to 2,032.44.
Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand were also higher. Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong markets were closed Monday for the Christmas holiday.