China’s rate cut boosts Asian markets

<p>The People’s Bank of China lowered its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points.</p>

Asian markets started the week on a positive note, boosted by an interest rate cut in China on Saturday (February 28th).

The People's Bank of China lowered its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.35 per cent and reduced the benchmark saving rate by a similar margin to 2.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, HSBC's final reading of China's manufacturing sector in February came in at 50.7, beating expectations.

China's upbeat news offset Friday's announcement that economic growth in the United States slowed more than initially thought in the fourth quarter of 2014. GDP growth was revised down to 2.2 per cent from an earlier estimate of 2.6 per cent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.2 per cent to 18826.88, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.3 per cent to 24887.44. The Shanghai Composite rose one per cent to 3336.14.

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