Asia Markets: Stocks in China rise, but other Asian markets mostly lower

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Trading weakened as the morning progressed in Asia, with stock indexes hitting session lows as trade and other uncertainty continue to keep buyers on the sidelines. Many benchmarks were off about 0.5%, with Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, -0.80%   the worst at 0.8%.

Chinese equities maintained their early gains, extending a rebound that started Friday. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.17%   was up 0.2%, while smaller caps saw bigger gains as the Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.70%   rose 0.6%. Perhaps helping sentiment some was the Peoples’s Bank of China’s latest cut to banks’ reserve-requirement ratios. But the move was anticipated, and some were expecting a reduction larger than the half-point one which will become effective next week. Some 80% of the Chinese banking system’s funding will be supported by the cut, Bocom estimates.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.44%   and South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.16%   were each down around 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.23%   dipped lower, as Commonwealth Bank CBA, -2.48%   led the slumping financial sector lower. Energy stocks fared well, though, with Santos STO, +1.68%  , Oil Search OSH, +1.92%   and Woodside Petroleum WPL, +1.59%   posting gains.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, -0.42%   fell, and shares of Cathay Pacific 0293, +0.31%   were under pressure after traffic data out last week showed weaker May passenger levels.