23:51 GMT08 August 2020
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    Major indexes in the region fell slightly, as investors await the release of the Chinese benchmark lending rate, with a cut reportedly expected.

    Stocks in Asia-Pacific fell in Monday morning trade, CNBC News reported.

    Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.29 percent, while the Topix index slipped 0.56 percent. South Korea's Kospi traded slightly lower, losing 0.12 percent.

    In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.41 percent.

    Overall in the region, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index showed a slight decrease of 0.18 percent.

    Meanwhile, investors in Asia are expecting China's loan prime rate to be cut, as the country has already reduced its one-year loan prime rate to 3.85 percent from the previous 4.05 percent. The five-year loan prime rate was also put lower at 4.65 percent from the previous 4.75. It is the second reduction in the loan prime rates this year, as China is trying to recover economically from the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The virus has so far infected more than 2.4 million people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. As the number of new coronavirus cases began to drop in most Chinese cities, including the epicentre of Wuhan, economic activities slowly began to resume in March, as strict lockdown measures were gradually lifted.

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