Hong Kong stocks slip as Alibaba drops; Australia’s closely watched interest rate decision ahead

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Australia were poised to fall Tuesday ahead of a rate decision by the country’s central bank.

Futures pointed to a lower open for Australian stocks. The SPI futures contract was at 7,299, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,347.

Economic data in the day ahead includes Australia’s interest rate decision, which will be significant as analysts widely expect the first rate hike in more than a decade.

Australia’s central bank is expected to raise its official cash rate by 15 basis points to 0.25%, according to the median forecast of a Reuters poll of 32 economists.

Several markets are closed in the region for holidays, including China, Japan, Singapore and India. Hong Kong will return to trade from a holiday on Monday.

Over in Europe, shares in the region abruptly fell on Monday, driven by a brief crash in Swedish markets. It was caused by a single sell order trade from Citigroup, reportedly tied to a wrong calculation relating to a Nasdaq index that involved Swedish stocks.

In U.S. stocks, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit new lows for the year before closing in positive territory for the day.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.63% to 12,536.02, while the S&P 500 rose 0.57% to 4,155.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 84.29 points, or 0.26%, to close at 33,061.50. The Dow was down more than 500 points at its session lows.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 103.744, extending its rise from levels around 103.6 previously.

The Japanese yen traded at 130.18 per dollar, as it stayed at levels weaker than 129. The Australian dollar declined to $0.7048.

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