Asian stocks slipped from a five-month high while Australian bond yields fell to a three-week low after the nation’s business investment slumped more than estimated. Oil held above $50 a barrel in New York.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.3 percent by 11:10 a.m. in Tokyo, with five stocks falling for every three that gained. Australian equities retreated from their highest level since 2008, while the local dollar weakened 0.5 percent and bond yields declined six basis points to 2.44 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed. U.S. oil was at $50.70 a barrel after snapping a five-day slump. Copper is heading for its biggest monthly advance in almost 2 1/2 years.
The MSCI All Country World Index climbed toward a record this week after Greece and its creditors brokered a deal to extend bailout funding for four months and as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen damped prospects of an imminent rate increase. A gauge of 15-day volatility in U.S. oil prices has dropped more than 40 percent since Feb. 4 as falling rig counts and falling investment in the sector tempered speculation that a supply glut will be long-term. Data Thursday may show U.S. consumer prices dropped in January for the first time since 2009.
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