Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops 3%, leading losses across Asia markets

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific dropped in Monday morning trade, as Japan’s markets plummeted in the morning. Meanwhile, China kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged.

Japanese stocks led losses regionally, with the Nikkei 225 falling 3.18%. The Topix index shed 2.44%.

Losses were seen in most sectors in Japan, with shares of automakers such as Nissan and Honda falling more than 3% each. Shares of Fanuc slumped nearly 5%. Meanwhile among financials, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shares fell 2.36% and Mizuho Financial Group declined 2.09%.

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China on Monday announced that the one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) was kept unchanged at 3.85% while the five-year LPR was also held steady at 4.65%. That was in line with expectations of majority of analysts in a snap Reuters poll, who had predicted no change to the one-year Loan Prime Rate as well as the five-year LPR.

Currencies and oil

The Japanese yen traded at 110.15 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7506, still struggling to recover after its fall last week from above $0.768.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.68% to $74.01 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.8% to $72.21 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed to this report.

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