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 Asia Stocks Fall for Third Day as Euro Retreats to 10-Year Low Against Yen

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PostSubject: Asia Stocks Fall for Third Day as Euro Retreats to 10-Year Low Against Yen    Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:17 pm

Dec 28, 2011 8:29 PM CT .

Asia Stocks Fall for Third Day as Euro Retreats to 10-Year Low Against Yen

Asian stocks (MXAP) fell for a third day, the euro weakened to a decade low against the yen and bond risk rose on concern Europe’s debt crisis will slow the global economy. Gold futures declined for a sixth day.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.5 percent at 11:00 a.m. in Tokyo, extending the gauge’s decline this year to 19 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.3 percent after the gauge sank 1.3 percent yesterday. The 17-nation euro weakened as much as 0.5 percent versus the yen. The Markit iTraxx Japan index tracking debt-default risk increased three basis points to 187.

The European Central Bank said yesterday its balance sheet soared to a record 2.73 trillion euros ($3.55 trillion) after lending to banks last week. South Korean factory production fell for a second straight month, while data today may show Italian business confidence slumped and U.S. pending sales of previously owned homes rose at a slower pace.

“The European problem is going to continue to cause spooks in the market and some spikes in risk aversion,” said Thomas Averill, managing director in Sydney at Rochford Capital, a currency and interest-rate risk-management company. “The moves are exaggerated by the lack of liquidity.”

Almost five shares retreated for every one that rose on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The index’s 2011 drop compares with a 13 percent loss in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index and a 0.6 percent fall in the S&P 500. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 0.9 percent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 1.1 percent.

ECB Lending
The euro slid for a fifth day against the yen and earlier reached 100.36, the weakest level since June 2001. The 17-nation currency slipped 0.2 percent to $1.2921 after earlier touching $1.2888, the least since Jan. 10.

The ECB last week awarded 523 banks three-year loans totaling a record 489 billion euros to encourage lending. So far, banks are parking the money back at the ECB. Overnight deposits at the central bank increased to an all-time high of 452 billion euros yesterday.

“The ECB, for the foreseeable future, will not drain liquidity once per month as it always has done,” said Robert Rennie, Sydney-based chief currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s second-largest lender. “It gives you greater confidence that this is more formal quantitative easing. Both on an outright and a cross basis, the risks still do lie to the downside for the euro.”

Italian Yields
Italy will sell as much as 8.5 billion euros in notes due from 2014 to 2022, a day after borrowing costs fell at a bill auction. Italian 10-year yields were little changed at 7 percent yesterday after the Treasury sold 9 billion euros of 179-day bills at a rate of 3.251 percent, down from 6.504 percent at the previous auction on Nov. 25.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy may meet on Jan. 9 in Berlin to discuss the debt crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unidentified European Union official familiar with the situation.

The Australian dollar fell 0.2 percent to $1.0075, sliding for a third day. Taiwan’s dollar dropped 0.1 percent to NT$30.334 against its U.S. counterpart before the central bank decides on interest rates today. Eleven of the 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast that policy makers will keep borrowing costs unchanged. Four predict a cut.

The Singapore dollar declined 0.5 percent to S$1.3017 per dollar and the Malaysian ringgit fell 0.4 percent to 3.1763 per dollar. Singapore’s gross domestic product rose 4 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 6.1 percent in the three months through September, the government will say on Jan. 3, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Gold, Oil
The cost of insuring corporate bonds against non-payment rose in Japan, with the Markit iTraxx Japan index headed for its highest close since Dec. 20, according to data provider CMA. The Markit iTraxx Australia index rose one basis point to 181.5, Westpac Banking Corp. prices show.

Gold for February delivery fell as much as 0.8 percent to $1,551 an ounce before trading at $1,556.40. It is set for the longest losing streak since March 2009. Silver for immediate delivery slid 0.5 percent to $26.9575 an ounce, a fourth day of losses.

Oil was up 0.1 percent to $99.48 a barrel in New York, following a 2 percent slide yesterday. U.S. inventories increased 9.57 million barrels last week, according to the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute. An Energy Department report today was forecast to show supplies fell 2.5 million in a Bloomberg News survey.



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-29/asia-stocks-fall-for-third-day-as-euro-retreats-to-10-year-low-against-yen.html

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