IMF downgrades Asia 2021 growth forecast, China LPR

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a positive Wednesday start following an overnight rise on Wall Street as the S&P 500 notched its fifth straight day of gains.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29.360 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,350. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,215.52.

Shares in Australia edged higher in morning trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.66%.

Looking ahead, China is set to announce its latest benchmark lending rate at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday. Majority of traders and analysts in a snap Reuters poll expect no change in both the one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) as well as the five-year LPR.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday slashed its 2021 economic growth forecast for Asia, now expecting the region to grow by 6.5% this year. That compared against the IMF’s April forecast for a 7.6% expansion.

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Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.74% to 4,519.63 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 198.70 points to 35,457.31. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.71% to 15,129.09.

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