Asian stock markets closed with gains on Friday as China’s rate cut bolstered investors’ sentiment.

The Asia Dow, which includes blue-chip companies in the region, was up 54.3 points, or 1.65%, to 3,352 points.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock exchange increased 336.2 points, or 1.27%, to 26,739.

The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, was the best performer of the day, surging 596.6 points, or 2.96%, to 20,717.

China’s Shanghai stock exchange increased 49.6 points, or 1.60%, to finish at 3,146.6.

India’s Sensex benchmark gained 1,528.8 points, or 2.90%, to 54,321, while the Singapore index rose 49.9 points, or 156%, to 3,240.

China on Friday cut a key interest rate for long-term loans for the second time this year as part of a push to overcome the impact of stringent COVID-19 lockdowns and a downturn in the property sector.

The five-year loan prime rate, a reference for mortgages, was lowered 15 basis points to 4.45% from 4.6%, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

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