Asian stocks fluctuated, leaving the regional index near a six-year high, with the Federal Reserve meeting this week to debate the outlook for U.S. interest rates. Oil dropped while Australian bonds climbed with crop futures.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed by 9:56 a.m. in Tokyo, following last week’s 1.4 percent advance. Japan’s Topix index added 0.1 percent, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.1 percent after the U.S. equity gauge retreated from a record July 25. Oil in New York and London dropped at least 0.3 percent. Ten-year Australian bonds followed Treasuries higher, with yields down two basis points. Soybean futures jumped 1.3 percent and the Korean won extended gains.
The Fed meets before the release of monthly payrolls data Aug. 1, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. saying last week that rising yields may spur a retreat in global stocks and bonds over the next three months. Chinese industrial company profits jumped the most last month since September, data yesterday showed. Israel resumed its offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip after a lull in fighting, while the U.S. said it has photos of Russia shelling into Ukraine. Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are closed today for holidays.