Dollar strength, A-share MSCI inclusion in focus

The Australian dollar, which initially sold off on the news, traded at $0.7610 at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN compared to levels around $0.7596 seen in the previous session.

“Our outlook for the Australian dollar is relatively constructive. We still expect the Australian dollar to head towards $0.77 by year-end, early next year as well. The big support for the Australian dollar is the fact that commodity prices, at least iron ore prices, appear to be bottoming out, or at least forming a base,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia Senior Currency Strategist Elias Haddad told CNBC.

As well, the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes of its June review that reflected that the central bank was concerned about household debt and wage growth, even though it was positive about growth going forward. The RBA had held cash rates steady earlier this month due to weak growth.

Over in Singapore, Noble Group announced it would be deferring payment on $400 million in perpetual capital securities as it focuses on liquidity. Shares of the commodity trader declined 1.05 percent.

In energy news, oil prices gained slightly after tumbling to a seven-month low overnight. Brent crude rose 0.38 percent to trade at $47.09 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.32 percent to trade at $44.34.

Hong Kong CPI and jobless data for the month of May is due at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on the back of big name tech stocks strengthening.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that William Dudley is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York….

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