Asian Stocks Set to Follow U.S. Rout as Haven Yen Holds Advance

Asian stocks looked set to track Friday’s retreat in U.S. equities, with the safe-haven yen holding most of its biggest gain in more than a week amid a rout in the price of oil.

Shares in New Zealand declined 0.2 percent, while futures on indexes from Tokyo to Sydney signaled losses after U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday to their lowest closing level in two months. The euro was little changed while Spanish government bonds may weaken on Monday after Spain was left with no clear governing majority following the nation’s election. Crude slid to the lowest level in more than six years last week, bucking gains seen in commodities including copper, sugar and gold.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index declined 0.2 percent as of 7:21 a.m. in Tokyo on Monday. Futures on Australia’s benchmark were down 0.8 percent in most recent trading, while those on the Kospi index in Seoul weakened 0.3 percent.

Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures slid 0.6 percent to 18,830 in Osaka, with contracts denominated in yen traded in Chicago falling 2.3 percent last session. The Bank of Japan on Friday modified its stimulus program to lengthen the average maturities of government bonds it buys and unveiled new measures to purchase exchange-traded funds. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the changes were designed to make it easier for the BOJ to maintain its current policy and didn’t constitute additional easing.

In Hong Kong, futures on the Hang Seng and Hang Seng China Enterprises gauges lost at least 0.5 percent, while those on the FTSE China A50 Index were down 0.2 percent in recent trade.

Source: Bloomberg

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U.S. Stocks Fluctuate as Oil Gains; Gold Rises on Haven Demand

U.S. stocks fluctuated as gains in crude oil boosted energy shares, offsetting concern that Greece’s rejection of the nation’s bailout terms could lead to fresh turmoil. The yen and gold advanced amid demand for haven assets.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent at 11:58 a.m. in New York, after rising 3 percent last week. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.7 percent. Greece’s three-year note yield rose to the highest since the nation’s debt was restructured in 2012. The rate on 10-year Treasuries lost two basis points to 1.94 percent. Gold rose 0.5 percent, while U.S. crude added 2.7 percent to $ 53.04 a barrel. Russia’s ruble rallied as talks on a cease-fire in Ukraine continued.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed to negotiate an end to austerity before talks with creditors, while Russia’s foreign minister warned the U.S. and its allies against sending weapons to Ukraine. The biggest import slump in more than five years pushed China’s January trade surplus to a record, highlighting the impact of commodity prices on the world’s second-biggest economy.

Source : Bloomberg

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