(Bloomberg) — The dollar weakened against most peers, with a gauge of the greenback’s strength paring a seventh monthly gain, and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped. Oil headed for its longest monthly losing streak since 2009, while gold climbed.
The U.S. currency lost 0.2 percent to the euro and 0.4 percent against the yen by 3:13 p.m. in Tokyo, with the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index set to cap its longest streak of monthly advances since 2009. Nomura Holdings Inc. rose 1.5 percent in Tokyo, helping Japan’s Topix index climb following its steepest drop in two weeks. S&P 500 contracts signaled losses after the gauge rebounded Thursday. Gold advanced 0.3 percent and oil in New York traded at $ 44.60 a barrel, down 16 percent for its seventh straight monthly loss.
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With the dollar surging as the Federal Reserve considers raising interest rates, Danish policy makers reduced borrowing costs for the third time in 10 days on Thursday, while officials in Turkey and New Zealand hinted at cuts. The euro area is projected to report a second month of deflation after the German consumer-price index turned negative for the first time since 2009. In the U.S., a reading on fourth-quarter economic growth is due, while MasterCard Inc. and AbbVie Inc. add to an earnings season that’s seen 78 percent of firms beat estimates.
“Central banks are taking a divergent direction where we expect the U.S. to raise rates sometime in June to September, while the European Central Bank and Japan will continue with their loose monetary policy,” said Manpreet Singh Gill, a senior investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore. “We are focusing quite a lot on earnings right now. Low prices in commodities and little growth in labor wages will keep margins intact.”
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The Dollar Spot Index fell from a record closing high. The gauge that tracks the greenback’s performance against 10 of its most-traded peers is up 2.9 percent this month. The euro bought $ 1.1338 and the yen strengthened to 117.86 per dollar. Australia’s dollar rebounded 0.4 percent to 77.89 U.S. cents after hitting 77.20 cents yesterday, the lowest since May 2009.
U.S. equity-index futures headed lower after the S&P 500 rallied through Thursday afternoon as energy producers reversed losses and large companies including Boeing Co., McDonald’s Corp. and Dow Chemical Co. climbed. The U.S. benchmark stock gauge is down 1.8 percent in January, heading for its first back-to-back monthly retreat since May 2012.
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Nasdaq 100 Index contracts pared earlier gains after online retailer Amazon.com Inc. jumped 14 percent in U.S. post-market trading.
Six of the 10 industry groups on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed today as the gauge pares its biggest monthly gain since July. Keppel Land Ltd., the property arm of Singapore’s Keppel Corp., led gains on the index this month, surging 33 percent as its biggest shareholder offered as much as S$ 3.23 billion ($ 2.4 billion) to buy the shares it doesn’t already own.
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., the Chinese carmaker whose parent owns Volvo Cars, had the third-biggest January gain n the Asia-Pacific gauge, with a 30 percent increase. Tencent Holdings Ltd., operator of China’s largest messaging service, was the largest single support to the index as it surged 16 percent amid efforts to boost mobile advertising revenue.
Nomura climbed as much as 4.1 percent, the most in almost three months, in Tokyo trading after Japan’s largest brokerage posted unexpected quarterly profit growth and said it will buy back more shares.
The Topix rose 0.1 percent to cap its fourth advance in five months. About 62 percent of the companies on Japan’s Topix index that have reported earnings, and for which Bloomberg has estimates, beat analyst projections.
Chinese shares fell for a fourth day, with the Shanghai Composite Index down 0.7 percent and heading for its longest losing streak since November. The gauge is little changed for the month after rallying 65 percent from the end of April — its last month of decline — through Jan. 23.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed and a gauge of Chinese companies listed in the city added 0.4 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude was 0.3 percent higher after adding 0.2 percent on Thursday. WTI is still trading close to an almost six-year low as surging U.S. production collides with slowing global demand. Brent slipped 0.3 percent to $ 49 in London.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose to the highest level since at least August 1982 last week, the Energy Information Administration reported Jan. 28. The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, setting up a conflict with President Barack Obama who has promised a veto.
Gold rose to $ 1,260.55 per ounce in the spot market, after sliding as much as 2.5 percent on Thursday, while silver slid 0.5 percent to $ 16.8717 an ounce, after Thursday’s 5.9 percent slump.
Iron ore with 62 percent content delivered to Qingdao, China, was at $ 63.27 a dry metric ton on Thursday, 11.2 percent lower this month, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. The raw material is heading for the biggest monthly loss since May amid signs the bear market that began last year has further to run as steel mills in China cut production amid rising supply or the ore.
Copper was poised for a seventh weekly decline, the longest losing streak in more than six years, before this weekend’s release of manufacturing data from China, the biggest metals consumer. The metal has dropped 2.5 percent this week and 14 percent since the start of January, the biggest monthly drop since September 2011 and the worst start to a year since 1988.
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