Asian stocks struggled for traction on Monday after an uninspiring performance on Wall Street at the end of last week, while the dollar consolidated its gains against the yen and euro.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS stood virtually flat, while Tokyo’s Nikkei .N225 lost 1.2 percent in early trade. Australian shares dipped 0.1 percent.
On Friday, the S&P 500 .SPX erased an early Federal Reserve-driven rally and closed slightly lower amid a selloff in biotech shares, and the Nasdaq .IXIC lost 1 percent. The Dow .DJI, however, managed to rise 0.7 percent. [.N]
Fed Chair Janet Yellen last Thursday revived prospects of an interest rate hike before year-end, easing concerns about slowing global growth that helped the dollar and risk assets, which have been buffeted by fears over China’s sputtering economy.
Strong second quarter U.S. GDP data released on Friday further sharpened the case for the Fed to raise rates in 2015. ECONUS