Asia Pacific Markets Surge Following a Surprise by PBOC on Holding MLF at 2.50%

On Monday morning (15 Jan, 9:30 AM, GMT+7, Bangkok time), most major indices in Asia Pacific increased as investors awaited China’s 4Q GDP numbers on Wednesday and Japan’s inflation figures for December on Friday. Taiwan stocks rose after the Democratic Progressive Party won its third consecutive presidential elections.

The People’s Bank of China surprised markets and held the rate on about 995 billion yuan worth of one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans. The rate was kept at 2.50%, while markets were expecting a 0.1 percentage point cut by the central bank.


Japan’s NIKKEI grew by 0.64% to 35,804.28. Australia’s ASX 200 edged up by 0.03% to 7,500.3, while South Korea’s KOSPI slid by 0.02% to 2,524.43.

As for stocks in China, Shanghai’s SSEC increased by 0.25% to 2,889.23. Hong Kong’s HSI gained 0.22% to 16,279.73, while Shenzhen’s SZI decreased by 0.01% to 8,995.69.


Meanwhile, the US stocks market was mixed on Friday as NASDAQ edged up by 0.02% to 14,972.76. S&P 500 rose by 0.08% to 4,783.83, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 0.31% to 37,592.98. VIX increased by 2.09% to 12.7.


As for commodities, oil prices settled higher on Friday as the strikes by the US and the UK on Houthi targets in Yemen caused some oil tankers to shift their trade route from the Red Sea, increasing the cost and time for tankers to transport oil. Brent rose by 1.1% to $78.29 per barrel, and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) increased by 0.9% to $72.68 a barrel.

This morning, Brent edged up by 0.13% to $78.39 a barrel, and WTI gained 0.03% to $72.7 per barrel. 

Meanwhile, gold futures increased by 0.25% to $2,056.7 per Troy ounce.