Asian Shares Mostly Higher following South Korea’s Unexpected Rate Hike

Asian stocks were mostly higher in Thursday trading after South Korea’s central bank unexpectedly announced a rate hike.

Shares in Mainland China rose slightly, with the Shanghai composite up 18.73 pts. (+0.59%), while Hong Kong and Japan surged 29.15 pts. (+0.14%) and 299.04 pts. (+1.11%), respectively. Meanwhile, South Korea’s KOSPI down 3.29 pts., or 0.12%.

The Bank of Korea announced a 25 basis point increase in its base rate to 1.5% on Thursday, a move that was foreseen by less than half of analysts polled by Reuters.

Meanwhile, China is likely to lower its key policy rate for the second time this year on Friday and to reduce its reserve requirement ratio in the near future – the nation’s cabinet has signaled the latter firmly as COVID lockdowns weaken the economy.

Overnight in the United States, the S&P 500 increased by 1.12% to 4,446.59. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 34,564.59, up 344.23 pts., or 1.01%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.03% to 13,643.59.