Asia-Pacific shares edge lower; China set to announce loan prime rates

Stocks in Asia-Pacific nudged lower Monday morning trade as investors await the release of China’s benchmark lending rate.

South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.15% in early trade. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.18%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.12% lower.

Markets in Japan are closed on Monday for a holiday.

China’s one-year and five-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) are set to be out at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday. A majority of traders and analysts polled by Reuters expect no change to both the one-year and five-year LPR. The one-year LPR is currently at 3.85% while the five-year rate sits at 4.65%.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.937 after last week’s decline from levels above 93.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.53 per dollar after strengthening in the previous trading week from levels above 105.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7295 after trading last week between levels above $0.732 and below $0.729.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.79% to $42.81 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed about 0.9% to $40.75 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: One-year Loan Prime Rate and five-year LPR release at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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