Asian Stocks Rise After China Rate Cuts

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Thursday after China cut interest rates to shore up flagging economic growth and Japan reported a double-digit rise in exports.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul advanced.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index fell 1% on Wednesday as investors tried to figure out how fast the Federal Reserve will roll back economic stimulus to cool inflation.

The Chinese central bank cut rates on one- and five-year loans after growth in the world’s second-largest economy sank to 4% over a year earlier in the latest quarter following a crackdown on surging debt among real estate developers.

“The question remains whether banks will respond by increasing lending,” said Iris Pang of ING in a report. Amid uncertainty about heavily indebted developers, Pang said, “banks will be picky about who they lend to.”

Markets seemed to take in stride comments by President Joe Biden about the status of the lingering tariff war with Beijing.

In a news conference, Biden said it was “uncertain” when his administration would be able to lift tariffs on China, imposed by then-President Donald Trump beginning in 2018 in a standoff over trade and technology policies.

He said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai was working on getting to that point, two years after a preliminary trade deal was meant to ease the way toward a resolution of the dispute.

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