Asian stocks retreated, trimming the first monthly advance in the regional index since October, while emerging-market currencies and the Australian dollar weakened. Copper futures fell while silver rallied following its biggest one-day decline this month.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.4 percent by 9:56 a.m. in Tokyo as stock gauges from Australia to Japan fell. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent after the U.S. benchmark failed to hold above a record close. South Korea’s won slipped 0.4 percent, while Malaysia’s ringgit snapped a four-day jump. The Aussie sank 0.4 percent after private capital spending shrank more than economists estimated. Copper futures slid 0.5 percent and while silver rebounded from a two-week low.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate today with optimism the world economy will weather cuts to U.S. stimulus helping global stocks rise almost 4 percent this month, all but erasing a January drop fueled by concern over China and emerging markets. The U.S. issues data on jobless claims and durable goods today while Germany reports on employment. Yuan volatility has climbed as Chinese policy makers move to weaken the currency amid signs of a slowing economy.
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