Asian Equities Higher as Fed Outlook Boosts Dollar

Asian stocks climbed, trimming a third monthly loss amid signs the steepest rout in commodities since 2011 has been arrested. The dollar maintained gains as speculation firms over the timing for U.S. rate increases.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose a third day, adding 0.3 percent by 10:02 a.m. in Tokyo and paring its July drop to 3.5 percent. Japan’s Topix index increased 0.3 percent and Australian shares also advanced. U.S. index futures lost 0.1 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after two days of gains, set for its best month since January. U.S. oil was at $48.38 a barrel, on track for its worst monthly drop of 2015. Gold and copper were steady amid July selloffs.

Slightly weaker U.S. growth last quarter than economists expected failed to derail the dollar Thursday, with traders boosting bets on a rate rise at the Federal Reserve’s next meeting in September. Wild swings in China’s stock market dominated Asian trading in July, with the Shanghai Composite Index set for its worst month since June 2013. Concern supply is outpacing demand amid a faltering global economy sent oil into a bear market this month and gold to a five-year low.

Bloomberg

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