Chinese stocks closed lower yesterday on speculation authorities would limit monetary policy easing after signs of stabilisation but trade was lacklustre with many markets closed for Easter.

After initially opening on a positive footing, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.70 per cent, or 55.76 points, to close at 3,215.04.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, was off 1.51 per cent.

The weakness came after the Politburo, China’s top decision-making body, said on Friday the government would continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy that is neither too tight nor too loose.

Investors had interpreted that as meaning “that the government will suspend the easing of monetary policy,” said Shen Zhengyang, an analyst at Northeast Securities. 

Real estate property firm Vanke dived more than six per cent and China Construction Bank was lower by more than three per cent.

Japanese stocks went the other way – opening lower but closing higher although volumes were thin ahead of an unprecedented 10-day market closure in Japan to celebrate the enthronement of a new emperor on May 1.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.08 per cent while the broader Topix index was up 0.10 per cent.

Traders may also be holding fire as they await a two-day meeting of the Bank of Japan later in the week. Some companies, including gaming giant Nintendo, are also unveiling their latest results.

Precision motor maker Nidec is reporting today and industrial robot maker Fanuc the day after, noted Ishiguro, who added that investors would also be scrutinising results from US IT giants Amazon and Microsoft later this week.

In other individual Japanese stocks, Toyota rose 0.07 per cent to 6,963 yen as Nissan gained 0.55 per cent to 944.5 yen amid news its former chairman had been slapped with a fourth charge of financial misconduct.

Nintendo was down 1.63 per cent at 38,560 yen ahead of their results on Thursday (AFP)