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Asia-Pacific markets set for opening declines; China’s benchmark lending rate ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific dropped in Monday morning trade, with China set to announce its latest benchmark lending rate later in the day.

Japanese stocks led losses regionally, with the Nikkei 225 falling 2% while the Topix index shed 1.79%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.86%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia slipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 shedding 0.65%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.23% lower.

Looking ahead, China’s latest one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) is expected to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday. Majority of analysts in a snap Reuters poll predicted no change to the one-year Loan Prime Rate as well as the five-year LPR.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.251 after a recent climb from levels below 91.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.19 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7502, still struggling to recover after its fall last week from above $0.768.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.18% to $73.64 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.27% to $71.83 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Preliminary retail sales data for May at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • China: Latest one-year Loan Prime Rate and five-year LPR at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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