Asian stock markets were mixed in early trading on Monday after China’s central bank raised interest rates over the weekend in a bid to rein in soaring inflation.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 57.89 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 10,337.08. Markets in Malaysia and Singapore were marginally higher, but South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.1 per cent at 2,026.28.

Stock markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong were closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday.

In thin Asian trading, investors reacted coolly to China’s rate hike on Saturday, which will lift the benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.81 per cent. The Chinese central bank said the one-year deposit rate will also climb by 25 basis points to 2.75 per cent.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 82.92 yen in Tokyo on Monday from 82.89 yen in New York late on Friday. The euro stood at $1.3108 from $1.3113.

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