Asia equities slip as US rebounds

Asia’s benchmark equity gauge slipped from a six-year high, the dollar strengthened against major peers and Treasuries fell amid speculation a stronger US labour market means the Federal Reserve may raise rates sooner than previously anticipated. Gold retreated with nickel.

MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1 percent to 147.4 by 1.13 pm in Tokyo, as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.2 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated 0.1 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was higher for a fourth day, the longest streak since May, and the yield on 10- year Treasuries climbed two basis points. Gold dropped 0.3 percent. Nickel fell 0.8 percent and copper lost 0.5 percent.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. brought forward its estimate for US interest-rate increases to the third quarter of 2015, saying the economy is “accelerating to an above-trend pace.” The Fed releases minutes of its last Open Market Committee meeting this week, while American markets resume today from a three-day weekend after stronger-than-forecast jobs reports on July 3. China issues inflation and trade data this week, while companies including Alcoa Inc., Fast Retailing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. are due to report earnings.

“The US is beyond its crisis,” said Hans Kunnen, a senior economist at St. George Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “It has created lots of jobs. There are a lot of things happening in there that are positive, and that tends to come with higher interest rates.”

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde signaled a cut in the institution’s global expansion forecasts, saying investment is still weak and that risks remain in the US even as its rebound accelerates.

Hang Seng

Asian shares last week posted an eighth weekly gain, the longest winning streak since 2012, as Japan’s Topix index climbed to a five-month high. In the US, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both rose 1.3 percent in a shortened trading week to close at all-time highs.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is heading for its biggest daily drop in two weeks while a gauge of Chinese companies listed in the city is little changed. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3 percent.

The Topix fell 0.2 percent to 1,282.16, near the July 4 closing level of 1,285.24 that was the highest since Jan. 23.

The US dollar reached a one-week high versus the euro and was stronger against 13 of 16 major peers. The US currency was at $1.3582 per euro, the strongest since June 26, before trading at $1.3585.

The Australian dollar weakened 0.1 percent to 93.58 U.S. cents, after sliding 0.7 percent in the five days ended July 4. Investors are underestimating the probability of a “significant fall” in the Australian dollar at some point, central bank Governor Glenn Stevens said in a July 3 speech. The New Zealand currency fell 0.2 percent to 87.21 US cents, the Swiss franc weakened to 89.54 cents and India’s rupee lost 0.2 percent to 59.8725 to the dollar.

Rupiah Rises

Indonesia’s rupiah gained 1.3 percent to 11,726 per greenback, the strongest level since June 2. Presidential candidates traded barbs over corruption and vested interests in a televised debate before the world’s fourth-most populated country goes to the polls on July 9. Jakarta’s main stock index climbed 0.9 percent.

Gold traded at $1,316.99 an ounce, while silver for immediate delivery decreased 0.6 percent to $21.0610.

Nickel continued its retreat from a six-week high in London amid speculation supply of the metal is ample for now, easing concern about a potential shortage after Indonesia barred exports of raw ores in January. Contracts for three-month delivery slipped to $19,250 a ton in London, falling a second day after closing at $19,875 on July 3.

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