Asian Stocks Retreat as Ringgit Slips While Crude Slides

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Emerging-market stocks fell for the first time in six days and Asian currencies weakened before U.S. jobs data. Crude oil declined to the lowest level since July, while nickel rose.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 0.3 percent at 12:51 p.m. in Tokyo. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.4 percent as China Mobile Ltd. slumped. China’s yuan fell for the first time in seven days versus the dollar, while Japan’s yen lost 0.2 percent. Crude oil was down 0.3 percent at $98.92.

U.S. employers probably added 180,000 workers in September, the most since April, according to a Bloomberg survey. The data was delayed by a 16-day government shutdown that spurred economists to push out expectations for tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus. China Mobile dropped 3.6 percent after posting the biggest profit decline since 1999.

“Although there’s a strong likelihood tapering will not start this year, investors remain mindful of key data to ascertain the state of U.S. economic recovery ,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Manila-based BDO Unibank Inc. “The jobs data will give markets a good gauge.”

Telecommunications and finance shares led losses in the MSCI developing-nation index. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 percent and the Jakarta Composite Index sank 1.1 percent.

The broader MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.1 percent as Japan’s Topix added 0.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 percent in Sydney, set for its highest close since June 2008.

China Mobile’s third-quarter net income trailed estimates as costs to build its new network rose. SJM Holdings Ltd. slumped 5.5 percent from a record, leading a plunge by Macau casino operators. BHP Billiton Ltd. rallied the most in three months after raising its iron-ore output forecast.

Fed Stimulus

The U.S. Labor Department will probably say the jobless rate held at 7.3 percent, according to median estimates in Bloomberg surveys. Economists expect the Fed to delay the first cut to its quantitative-easing program until March, according to a separate poll conducted Oct. 17-18. The Fed’s last two policy meetings this year are on Oct. 29-30 and Dec. 17-18. The Richmond Fed also releases its manufacturing survey for October.

The yuan slipped 0.02 percent and the yen dropped to 98.32 per dollar. The ringgit depreciated a third day, losing 0.4 percent to 3.1831. The Thai baht and the Philippine peso both slid 0.2 percent.

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency against 10 major peers, rose 0.1 percent after weakening almost 1 percent last week. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes held steady at 2.6 percent. Those on similar-maturity Australian bonds increased three basis points to 4.10 percent.

U.S. Earnings

Companies including Texas Instruments Inc. and Netflix Inc. were among S&P 500 members that reported quarterly earnings after U.S. markets closed. Texas Instruments, the largest analog-chip maker, forecast revenue and profit that fell short of current analysts’ estimates, while Netflix’s third-quarter earnings per share exceeded projections.

West Texas Intermediate crude extended yesterday’s 1.6 percent slide. Natural gas futures slipped 0.5 percent today.

Crude stockpiles rose by 4 million barrels to 374.5 million, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday in a delayed report. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had projected a 3 million-barrel gain.

Nickel for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange surged 0.7 percent. Aluminum climbed 0.3 percent.

China Property

New home prices in China’s four major cities jumped the most since January 2011 last month as the government refrained from adding to nationwide property curbs. Prices climbed in 69 of the 70 cities the government tracked in September from a year earlier, led by 20 percent increases in the southern business hubs of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.

The cost of insuring corporate and sovereign bonds in the Asia-Pacific region against non-payment rose. The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan rose 1 basis point to 133.5 in Singapore, Westpac Banking Corp. prices show.

 

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