Asian Stocks Decline on Japan’s Jobless; Yen at 8-Month High

By webadmin on 02:14 pm Jul 30, 2010
Category Archive

Akiko Ikeda

Asia.  Asian stocks fell for the first time in six days after Japan’s industrial production dropped and an increase in unemployment signaled the world’s second-largest economy may slow.

The yen rose to an eight-month high versus the dollar, while U.S. and European stock index futures slid.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.6 percent to 119.00 as of 3:25 p.m. in Tokyo. Futures on the U.S. Standard and Poor’s 500 lost 0.2 percent and those for the Euro Stoxx 50 decreased 0.4 percent.

Crude oil fell 0.3 percent and copper dropped 0.2 percent. The yen strengthened against all 16 of the most-active currencies as signs the global recovery is losing momentum boosted demand for Japan’s currency as a refuge.

Japanese factory output slid 1.5 percent in June from May, compared with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey for a 0.2 percent gain, while the jobless rate climbed to a seven- month high of 5.3 percent.

A U.S. report today may show economic growth cooled to 2.6 percent in the second quarter, from 2.7 percent in the first, based on a separate survey.

“Some investors are cautious,” said Yoshinori Nagano, a senior strategist in Tokyo at Daiwa Asset Management Co., which oversees about $104 billion. “People cannot remove uncertainties about the future in terms of the macro economy.”

Three stocks fell for each one that rose in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, paring its weekly gain to 1.3 percent and its monthly advance to 5.5 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.6 percent, Australia’s SandP/ASX 200 Index slid 0.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi Index declined 0.7 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.5 percent.