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Asian Stocks Fall as China’s Markets Reopen; PBOC Lowers Required Reserve Ratio

Asian stocks fell in morning trade on Monday - Asian stocks fell in morning trade on Monday as China’s markets reopened after a week-long holiday. The People’s Bank of China announced on Sunday that it lowered the required reserve ratio (RRR) for some lenders by 1%.

The cut will become effective from Oct 15, according to a statement on the central bank’s website.

A total of 1.2 trillion yuan ($175 billion) would be released, of which 450 billion yuan is to be used to repay existing medium-term funding facilities, the central bank said.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both plunged 2.9% by 9:35PM ET (01:35 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.9%.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.2% as U.S. President said he hopes to see his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un “in the near future”. His comments came U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang over the weekend.

Pompeo told South Korean President Moon Jae-in upon his arrival in Seoul that Kim had agreed to meet with Trump “as soon as possible,” according to a statement from Moon’s office.

“As President Trump said, there are many steps along the way and we took one of them today,” Pompeo told Moon in Seoul. “It was another step forward.”

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 also traded 1.13% lower, with shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) dropping 2.2% after the company announced that its full year 2018 cash profit would be "impacted by additional charges for customer compensation, accelerated amortisation of software and other notable items."

Japan’s Nikkei 225 is closed for a holiday.

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