Stock connect, bonds, currencies and oil

SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific markets were higher on Monday ahead of decisions by the Australian and Malaysian central bank this week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.09%, while the Topix index climbed 1.38%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.78%.

South Korea’s Kospi made up for previous losses, trading 0.28% higher, and the Kosdaq rose 0.36%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan rose 0.41%.

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

In company news, Chinese real estate developer Shimao missed the interest and principal payment of a $1 billion offshore bond. Other real estate companies have also missed interest payments or failed to pay their debts.

The US market is closed on Monday for a holiday.

Looking ahead, the results of a private survey on services activity in China are expected 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 markets closed mixed as US markets rose. The first half of 2022 was marked by concerns about inflation, rising interest rates and recession.

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Currencies and Oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, stood at 104,995.

The Japanese yen traded at 135.08 per dollar, stronger than last week from levels as weak as 137 per dollar. The Australian dollar stood at $0.6820 after recently recovering from below $0.679.

Oil futures fell in morning trading in Asia. US crude futures fell 0.35% to $108.05 a barrel, while Brent oil futures fell 0.34% to $111.25.

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