Crude oil trimmed its biggest weekly jump since 2011, while Asian stocks fluctuated. U.S. equity-index futures signaled the first gains this week and the dollar was stronger against most major peers.
U.S. oil lost 2.1 percent, paring its jump in the week to 10 percent by 11:55 a.m. in Tokyo, while Brent crude retreated 1.6 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed as Hong Kong shares dropped. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rebounded from its largest loss this year. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 0.3 percent following the gauge’s longest slump since January. The yen weakened 0.1 percent and the the Australian dollar slid 0.3 percent.
Oil led a jump in commodity prices Thursday after Yemen became the latest proxy battlefield between Iran and Saudi Arabia. China’s industrial company profits dropped 4.2 percent from a year before in the first two months of 2015, underscoring weakness in the world’s second-largest economy. An update on fourth-quarter growth in the U.S. may feed into speculation about the timeline for higher interest rates.