Asia-Pacific stocks slide ahead of China's benchmark lending rate release

  • Asia-Pacific stocks fell in Monday morning trade.
  • China is set to announce its latest one-year loan prime rate at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday.
  • Investors will continue to track the spread of the omicron Covid variant, with the World Health Organization recently warning that case numbers are doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community spread.

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

The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.66% while the Topix index shed 0.78%. South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.63%.

Australian stocks declined in morning trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.35%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.33% lower.

Looking ahead, China is set to announce its latest one-year loan prime rate at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday. Majority of traders and economists in a Reuters poll expect cuts to the loan prime rate.

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Investors will also continue to track the spread of the omicron Covid variant, with the World Health Organization recently warning that the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community spread.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.642 after recently climbing from below 96.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.52 per dollar, stronger than levels above 114 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7116, off levels above $0.72 seen last week.

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