Asian Equities Lower

Asian stocks fell and oil advanced to the highest level since September as violence in Iraq threatens supplies. China’s yuan headed for its biggest weekly advance in almost three years.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slipped 0.5 percent by 12:08 p.m. in Tokyo, after yesterday retreating from its highest close since 2008. The Topix index fell 0.6 percent and the yen dropped from the strongest this month as the Bank of Japan kept record stimulus unchanged. West Texas Intermediate oil rose 0.7 percent to $107.23 a barrel. Oil producers drove Chinese share indexes higher and the yuan extended the week’s advance to 0.7 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures fell 0.1 percent.

Escalating violence in Iraq is raising the prospect of further disruptions in OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer. The BOJ will continue to expand the monetary base at the same pace, it said, a move predicted by all 33 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. China, which releases retail sales and industrial production numbers today, reported new loans that exceeded estimates after markets closed yesterday.

Bloomberg

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