Asian stocks fell as Hong Kong shares headed for their biggest weekly drop since March amid sustained pro-democracy protests. The dollar rallied versus major peers, while Australian bonds fell with Treasuries and gold before the U.S. reports monthly payrolls data.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) fell 1 percent by 1:22 p.m. in Tokyo, taking losses this week to 4.1 percent and dragging the MSCI Asia Pacific Index toward a fourth straight weekly loss. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.1 percent as the yen and New Zealand’s currency slipped at least 0.3 percent. Gold fell for the first time in three days. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 0.2 percent.
Markets in Hong Kong, where protesters are blockading streets to demand a greater choice in the city’s leadership, restarted today after a two-day break during which $845 billion was erased from global equities. As investors assess the U.S. economic rebound, analysts are predicting a return to gains of more than 200,000 in nonfarm payrolls. The European Central Bank shied from providing a definitive stimulus target yesterday.
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