Hong Kong shares dropped with the Australian dollar as a Chinese gauge unexpectedly signaled contraction. The dollar held declines before a U.S. inflation report as Federal Reserve speakers reiterated the path of interest rates depends on data.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped 1.2 percent by 11:22 a.m. in Tokyo, while the Shanghai Composite Index was little changed after capping its longest streak of gains since 2007. The Aussie weakened 0.3 percent. The greenback was at $1.0922 per euro, after sliding more than 1 percent against the 19-nation currency on each of the past two trading days. U.S. equity-index futures were little changed after benchmark gauges retreated Monday. Copper futures added 0.3 percent in London.
The preliminary March purchasing managers index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics came in at 49.2, compared with the 50.5 projected by economists, with reports from the U.S. also due. San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks to economists in Sydney Tuesday after Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer said data will determine when rates rise. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard also speaks today before data estimated to show consumer prices fell in February from a year before.
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