The dollar retreated, while Asian bonds advanced with precious metals after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled U.S. interest-rate increases aren’t imminent. Chinese stocks dropped after a week-long break.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus major peers, lost 0.1 percent by 11:08 a.m. in Tokyo, as the U.S. currency slid 0.6 percent against the Malaysian ringgit and 0.3 percent versus the yen. Yields on South Korea’s 10-year debt fell five basis points and Japanese rates dropped. Gold snapped a four-day drop and silver jumped 2.6 percent. U.S. oil was at $49.24 a barrel after its longest slump since August. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4 percent.
The Dollar Spot Index is set to fall for the first month since June after Yellen made clear no rate increase is imminent. The Fed chief told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that a shift in guidance from the central bank would signal the economy has improved to the point where an increase could come at any meeting. A private gauge of Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly signaled expansion as mainland markets resume Wednesday after New Year holidays. The U.S. updates on record oil stockpiles.