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View Count: 31 |  Publish Date: November 19, 2013
Most Asian Stocks Fall as Topix to Copper Drop; Won Gains
By Emma O’Brien & Adam Haigh - 2013-11-19T00:57:30Z
Most Asian stocks fell, sending theregional index lower for the first time in four days as Japaneseshares retreated amid a stronger yen. Copper futures droppedwith palladium as the South Korean won climbed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.1 percent by 9:53a.m. in Tokyo as Japan’s Topix Index lost 0.3 percent, droppingfrom a six-month high. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPA) futures werelittle changed. The yen held below 100 per dollar for a secondday and the won touched an almost one-month high. Copper futuresslid 0.4 percent as palladium fell a third day. Oil in New Yorkheld near a five-month low as gasoline dropped.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudleyechoed comments made last week by nominee Chairman Janet Yellen,saying yesterday that while he’s “more hopeful” the U.S.economy is strengthening, it’s not enough to warrant stimuluscuts yet. China may report foreign direct investment today,while Australia’s central bank said in minutes of its lastmeeting that interest-rate cuts seem to be working, retainingthe option of loosening monetary policy further.
“In this environment, investors would ideally be remainingcautious,” Matthew Sherwood, head of investment marketsresearch in Sydney at Perpetual Investments, which manages about$25 billion, said by e-mail. “Economic data continues tostruggle to put on meaningful gains despite massive central-bankstimulus.”
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped a second day, losing0.5 percent, while the Kospi Index (KOSPI) in Seoul extended gains intoa fourth day, adding 0.8 percent, set for the highest closesince Nov. 1. Chinese Reforms
Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index --which surged 5.7 percent yesterday in the biggest one-day gainsince 2011 -- added 1 percent in their most recent tradingsession. Contracts on the Hang Seng Index gained 0.9 percent.The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinesestocks in New York climbed 2 percent, closing at a more thantwo-year high.
China’s Communist Party unveiled the biggest package ofeconomic reforms since the 1990s last week, with leaders in theworld’s second-largest economy vowing to allow more privateinvestment in state-run industries, loosen the one-child policyand expand farmers’ land rights. China may report a 6.1 percentincrease in foreign direct investment for October, from 4.9percent growth in September, according to a Bloomberg survey ofeconomists.
The yen added 0.2 percent to 99.84 per dollar, afterclimbing 0.2 percent yesterday to snap a two-day drop. Japan’scurrency lost 1.1 percent last week, its third week of declinesversus the greenback, and reached the weakest level on a closingbasis since Sept. 10. Won Gains
The won, which is posting the biggest gain among Asiancurrencies this month, added 0.2 percent to 1,056.07 per dollar,touching the strongest intraday level since Oct. 24.
Australia’s dollar, known as the Aussie, was little changedat 93.73 U.S. cents after sliding as much as 0.3 percent afterthe release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s November minutes.The RBA, which held rates at a record-low 2.5 percent at theirlast meeting, said the economy is battling an “uncomfortablyhigh” currency.
The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the currencyagainst 10 major peers, was little changed after slipping 0.2percent yesterday to the lowest close since Nov. 6. The dollarweakened yesterday against 13 of 16 major counterparts trackedby Bloomberg.
Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasury notes were little changedat 2.67 percent after falling four basis points in New York.Similar-maturity Australian bonds yielded 4.19 percent, down twobasis points, or 0.02 percentage point. Playing Games
Yellen, currently vice-chairman of the Fed, said last weekduring her confirmation hearing that she wants to maintain thecentral bank’s program of record bond purchases until theeconomy improves further.
Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Fed, saidyesterday that the central bank’s policy committee needs to seta fixed size for its current quantitative easing program and“bring it to an end” after reaching that amount.
“We cannot continue to play this bond-buying game by earand risk the Fed’s credibility while creating lingeringuncertainty about the course of monetary policy,” Plosser saidin text of speech in Philadelphia. Minutes of the last FederalOpen Market Committee meeting will be published tomorrow.
The National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargobuilder sentiment gauge was unchanged at 54 for November, datayesterday showed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employmentcost index is projected to have risen 0.5 percent in the thirdquarter, matching the pace in previous three months, accordingto a Bloomberg survey of economists. ‘Big Drop’
The S&P 500 retreated to closed down 0.4 percent in NewYork after earlier touching above 1,800 for the first time. TheDow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) pared gains to 15,976.02 afterbreaching the 16,000 level for the first time.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn warned of a “big drop” inthe stock market, saying he was “very cautious” on equitiesbecause because low interest rates, rather than managementstrength, are fueling earnings at many companies, Reutersreported.
The S&P 500 has climbed 26 percent in 2013, poised for itsbest year in a decade. The benchmark index of U.S. stocks tradesfor 17 times reported profit, the highest valuation since May2010.
Palladium was headed for the lowest close since Oct. 15,while silver lost 0.1 percent in a second day of declines, setfor the lowest close since Aug. 8.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose less than 0.1percent to $93.06 a barrel after losing 0.9 percent yesterday tothe lowest settlement since June 21. Saudi Arabia exported moreoil in September than in any month since November 2005,according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.Gasoline futures dropped 0.2 percent, falling a third day.
Corn dropped 2.2 percent yesterday after the U.S. proposeda cut in the amount of ethanol that must be blended intogasoline, curbing demand for the crop in biofuels.
To contact the reporters on this story:Emma O’Brien in Wellington at eobrien6@bloomberg.net;Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story:Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

Time: 2:51  |  News Code: 344904  |  Site: bloomberg
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