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Asia-Pacific markets set to open higher; central bank decisions ahead this week

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific futures pointed to a higher open on Monday ahead of Australia and Malaysia central bank decisions this week.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,285 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,320. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 25,935.62.

In Australia, SPI futures were at 6,545, slightly higher than the S&P/ASX 200‘s last close at 6,539.9.

Elsewhere in the region, exchange-traded funds will be included in the stock connect scheme that links Hong Kong and mainland China from Monday.

In company news, Chinese property developer Shimao missed the interest and principal payment of a $1 billion offshore bond. Other real estate companies have also missed interest payments or defaulted on their debt.

The U.S. market is closed for a holiday Monday.

Looking ahead, results from a private survey on China’s services activity is due later this week, along with South Korean inflation data and several central bank decisions.

Last week, on the first day of the second half of the year, European stocks closed mixed, while markets stateside rallied. The first half of 2022 was marked by concern over inflation, rising interest rates and recession.

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Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 105.046.

The Japanese yen traded at 135.18 per dollar, strengthening from levels as weak as 137 per dollar last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6823.

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