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Asia stocks edge lower as virus cases stateside surge again; China's loan prime rate ahead

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Stocks in Asia traded lower Monday morning as the number of coronavirus cases stateside soared again.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.6% as shares of robot maker Fanuc dropped more than 2%. The Topix index traded 0.36% lower. South Korea’s Kospi also dipped 0.6%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.43%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.29% lower.

Investors watched for market reaction to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., with more than 30,000 new infections reported on Friday and Saturday — the highest daily totals since May 1 — according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, an official said Sunday that the Chinese capital of Beijing is capable of screening almost 1 million people a day for the coronavirus, according to Reuters. That development came on the back of a recent cluster of infections that was found in the city.

China is also set to announce the June fixing of its benchmark lending rate at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday. 74% of participants in a recent snap survey conducted by Reuters expected no change to the one-year loan prime rate.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.703 after rising from levels below 96.8 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.81 per dollar after seeing levels above 107.4 in the previous week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6817 following its slide from levels above $0.693 last week.

What’s on tap for Monday:

  • China: 1-year and 5-year loan prime rate announcement at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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