Beijing, China (BBN)-Asian markets opened higher on Monday after China cut interest rates for the third time in six months over the weekend to spur growth.
China’s central bank lowered its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 5.1%, saying the move was aimed at boosting development, reports BBC.
Besides the cut, the central bank also slashed the bank reserve requirement ratio in February and April.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 1.3% to 19,634.52 – leading the region’s gains.
Shares in Mazda and Toyota were up 2.1% and 0.4% respectively after reports that the companies were in talks to expand their technology partnership for fuel-cell vehicles as car makers face rising costs to deal with stricter emissions regulations.
Bucking the trend was Sharp, whose shares plunged by more than a fifth in Tokyo after local reports that the struggling electronics maker was planning a drastic capital reduction to help wipe out losses.
Chinese shares were higher, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.1% to 4,211.97, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.3% higher at 27,657.6.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 traded flat at 5,634.1, erasing earlier gains.
Australian businesses reported a fall in sales and employment in April, while confidence remained subdued despite record-low interest rates, according to a survey by National Australia Bank.
The monthly report’s index of business conditions fell two points to +4 in April, undoing half of its March gain.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index was 1% higher at 2,106.46.
BBN/SK/AD-11May15-10:00am (BST)