Shares in Asia-Pacific rise as investors await release of China’s benchmark lending rate; oil jumps 2%

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Monday morning trade, as investors look ahead to the release of China’s latest benchmark lending rate. Oil prices also jumped more than 2%.

The S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.41%, with shares of Macquarie Group and Wesfarmers both up more than 1% each.

South Korea’s Kospi hovered fractionally higher. Markets in Japan are closed on Monday for a holiday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.04% lower.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 2.16% to $110.26 per barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 2.4% to $107.21 per barrel.

China’s latest one-year loan prime rate is set to be out at 9:15 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday, with little expectations for change, according to a Reuters survey.

Investors in Asia will also monitor moves in the Hong Kong market on Monday, with the city’s benchmark Hang Seng index finishing more than 4% higher last week following a volatile week which swung between big gains and losses.

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The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.303 — off levels above 98.5 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 119.25 per dollar following its weakening last week from levels below 118.2 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7409, as compared with levels below $0.721 seen last week.

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