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

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded 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 1.91% in morning trade while the Topix index dipped 1.25%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.23%.

Elsewhere, mainland Chinese markets rose, with the Shanghai composite up more than 1% while the Shenzhen component gained 1.259%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia were higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.47%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares traded 0.37% higher.

Lira weakens sharply

Investors watched the Turkish lira on Monday, with the currency weakening sharply to 8.0897 against the greenback, compared to levels below 7.5 per dollar seen last week. Earlier, the lira had weakened to as much as 8.145 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.

In corporate developments, Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics‘ shares fell around 4% in Monday morning trade. 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.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.111 after its recent recovery from levels below 91.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.91 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.2 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7714, lower than levels above $0.78 seen last week.

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