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Japan falls 2% in mixed Asia-Pacific trading day; Turkish lira weakens sharply against the dollar


SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday as investors watched moves in the Turkish lira following a sudden upheaval at the country’s central bank.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 2.07% to close at 29,174.15 while the Topix index dipped 1.09% to finish its trading day at 1,990.18. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.13% lower at 3,035.46.

Elsewhere, mainland Chinese markets rose on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.14% to 3,443.44 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.139% to around 13,760.97. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed about 0.2%, as of its final hour of trading.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia were higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 rising 0.66% to close at 6,752.50.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares rose 0.2%.

Lira weakens sharply

Investors watched the Turkish lira on Monday, with the currency weakening more than 8% to 7.7983 against the greenback, compared to levels below 7.5 per dollar seen last week. Earlier, the lira had weakened to as much as 8.1745 against the greenback.

The sharp move came after the country’s central bank saw another upheaval, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly replacing its chief just days after a sharp interest rate hike.

China’s one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) and five-year LPR were left unchanged at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively, on Monday. That was in line with expectations from majority of traders and analysts in a snap Reuters poll.

Stocks on the move

In corporate developments, Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics‘ shares plunged 4.89% on Monday. The firm announced over the weekend that it will take at least a month to restart production at a facility that was damaged by fire on Friday. That development came as the world already faces a global chip shortage.

Automakers in Japan, among the firms affected by the chip scarcity, also fell on Monday. Toyota dropped 3.26%, Nissan slipped 3.7% and Honda declined 3.63%.

Meanwhile, trading of Capitaland shares in Singapore was paused on Monday. The firm announced a proposed restructuring that would include a consolidation of its investment management platforms and lodging business into CapitaLand Investment Management, set to be listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.094 after its recent recovery from levels below 91.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.68 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.2 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7722, lower than levels above $0.78 seen last week.

Oil prices were lower in afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.22% to $63.74 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped more than 1.5% to $60.39 per barrel.

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