Russia-Ukraine crisis, China’s benchmark lending rate

SINGAPORE – Shares in Japan looked set for a lower open on Monday, as investors in Asia-Pacific continue to watch the situation surrounding Ukraine.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,775 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,840. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,122.07.

Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 slipped 0.55% in morning trade.

Fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine are likely to continue weighing on investor sentiment. US President Joe Biden abruptly canceled plans on Sunday to go home to Delaware following a top level meeting on the Ukraine crisis.

Looking ahead, China is set to announce its latest benchmark lending rate on Monday, with the latest one-year loan prime rate (LPR) expected to be out at 9:15 am HK / SIN. All 24 financial institutions a snap Reuters poll predicted no change in the one-year LPR.

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Markets in the US are closed on Monday for a holiday.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96,088 following its recent climb from below 96.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.89 per dollar after strengthening to around 114.8 against the greenback late last week. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.7168 following a decline from above $ 0.72 late last week.

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