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Asia-Pacific markets open higher; Reserve Bank of Australia decision ahead

SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia-Pacific traded higher as investors look ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate decision.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 1.13%, while the Topix index rose 0.66%.

South Korea’s Kospi increased 1.51%, and the Kosdaq advanced 2.73%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was mildly lower.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points later today, a Reuters poll predicted. And retail sales data is also expected today.

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

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Elsewhere in the region, South Korean data released Tuesday showed the consumer price index in June rose 6% compared with the same period a year ago. That is slightly higher than the expected 5.9% increase and the fastest annual rise since November 1998, according to Reuters.

Japan’s services activity expanded at the fastest pace since October 2013, according to the final au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index. The print rose to 54, compared to 52.6 in May.

The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. A survey on China’s service sector activity is also due Tuesday.

In company news, a group of lawmakers in the U.K. are reportedly calling for a ban on Chinese CCTV makers Hikvision and Dahua over alleged links to human rights abuses.

U.S. markets were closed overnight for a holiday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 105.168.

The Japanese yen traded at 135.90 per dollar, after briefly weakening past 137 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6875, following a recovery from below $0.679.

U.S. crude futures gained 1.87% in Asia’s morning trade to $110.46 per barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 0.15% to $113.67 per barrel.

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