Most Asian stocks declined as the yen gained a fourth day against the dollar and commodity prices slumped. About five shares dropped for every three that rose on the dollar-denominated MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP), which added 0.1 percent to 137.94 as of 9:53 a.m. in Tokyo. The yen rose 0.3 percent to 117.61 per dollar, bringing its gain since Jan. 9 to about 1.7 percent. Copper sank to its lowest since 2009 as Brent oil fell 1.8 percent to $46.59 a barrel overnight.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, settled 0.4 percent lower at $45.89 a barrel yesterday, reaching as low as $44.20 per barrel last session to extend last year’s slump amid concern over a supply glut. WTI dropped 0.3 percent today.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent today. U.S. stocks swung yesterday as earnings season began, with analysts cutting profit estimates for companies on the gauge given the slump in oil. The S&P 500 ended the day down 0.3 percent after rising as much as 1.4 percent and dropping 1 percent. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which tracks expectations of U.S. stock swings, climbed 4.9 percent.
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