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Asia stocks mixed as dollar hovers at 13-month low

Asia Pacific equities were mixed on Monday as the euro held at two-year highs and the dollar remained weak ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later in the week.

In Asia Pacific equities, Japan’s Topix index was down 0.9 per cent dragged by the financials and industrials sectors, which fell 1.2 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was 1 per cent lower with the financials sector and industrials sector both down 1.2 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.5 per cent as the financial sector rose 0.5 per cent and casino stocks gained ahead of visitor arrivals data for Macau. State-run telco China Unicom was up as much as 2.8 per cent on a Reuters report that Baidu and will join fellow Chinese tech names Alibaba and Tencent to invest around $12bn in its Shanghai-listed unit as part of ownership reforms for state-run enterprises.

The US dollar was languishing at a 13-month low on concerns over an expansion of the probe into possible collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. There were also concerns over Mr Trump’s ability to deliver on his economic agenda. The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of peers, was 0.1 per cent stronger at 93.933, holding at its lowest since June 2016.

The euro was flat against the dollar at $1.1666 after climbing to its highest since August 2015 following comments from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi on Thursday when he was reticent about giving further clues on policy normalisation.