USD/JPY & EUR/JPY The yen maintained its advance versus the dollar and euro even after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly expanded its asset-purchase fund, its main monetary policy tool.
The yen climbed 0.3 percent to 79.54 per dollar as of 1:21 p.m. in Tokyo. It added 0.3 percent to 97.36 per euro.
AUD/USD The Australian dollar’s sustained strength has helped balance the nation’s economic expansion, and it’s difficult to argue that its level is unjustified, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said today.
The local dollar bought $1.0244 at 10:57 a.m. in Sydney, little changed from $1.0251 late yesterday in New York. It jumped 5.2 percent in June, the biggest monthly advance since October, even after RBA rate cuts.
Oil traded near the highest close in two days in New York after U.S. stockpiles fell and refinery utilization rose, countering concern that global fuel demand will falter as manufacturing stagnates in Europe.
Crude for August delivery was at $85.65 a barrel, down 16 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:28 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday climbed $1.90 to $85.81, the highest close since July 9. Prices are down 13 percent this year.
Gold edged lower on Thursday, dropping for a fourth session out of six, as investors remained cautious on indications the Federal Reserve was unlikely to launch more monetary stimulus until U.S. economic conditions weakened further.
Spot gold lost 0.3 percent to $1,571.86 an ounce by 11.11 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Leung said physical buying emerged when prices dropped near $1,560 in the previous session.
Asian stocks extended losses after declines eased briefly following unexpected decisions by the Bank of Japan to add to asset purchases, while cutting the size of a credit loan facility.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.2 percent to 115.15 as of 1:20 p.m. in Tokyo, with about seven stocks declining for each that rose. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.3 percent, extending its losses.
Most European stocks fell before the release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, as investors waited for clues about further measures to spur economic growth.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent to 255.59 at the close of trading. Two out of three shares on the gauge slid. The benchmark measure yesterday rose for the first time in a week as manufacturing in the U.K. and Italy unexpectedly rose.
U.S stocks The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index erased losses in the final hour of trading as investors weighed the Federal Reserve’s latest policy minutes for evidence that the central bank may be closer to additional stimulus actions.
The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,341.45 at 4 p.m. New York time, after sinking as much as 0.6 percent earlier.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 48.59 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,604.53.