Asian stocks dropped, extending global declines, while sovereign bonds rose with precious metals before the European Central Bank reviews policy today. The Australian dollar climbed after better-than-estimated trade and building data and commodities rallied.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 0.6 percent by 12:06 p.m. in Tokyo, falling a fifth day and heading for its lowest close since May. Japan’s Topix (TPX) index slid 2 percent after the yen jumped the most in almost six months against the dollar. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed after the U.S. gauge slid to a seven-week low. Australian bonds climbed and the Aussie added 0.7 percent. Gold rose a second day as the Bloomberg Commodity Index advanced 0.2 percent.
Investors are waiting to see the scope of ECB asset purchases after reports showed factories in the euro zone cut prices by the most in more than a year and German manufacturing shrank last month. Hiring in the U.S. accelerated for the first time in three months, according to a private report before factory orders data today and monthly payrolls figures due tomorrow. Australia reported a narrower-than-estimated trade deficit, while in Hong Kong, protest leaders said they will besiege government offices if their demands aren’t addressed.
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