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Asia Stock Selloff Eases as Yen Weakens With Gold

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A global equities selloff that spurred the biggest drop in Japanese shares since Donald Trump’s election eased as demand for haven assets ebbed. The yen halted a seven-day rally and gold retreated.

Japan’s Topix fluctuated while Australian and South Korean shares rose after the S&P 500 Index nudged higher. Treasury 10-year yields were steady after four days of losses. The kiwi was little changed after New Zealand’s central bank kept its benchmark rate at a record low 1.75 percent. Oil futures climbed.

The most important market news of the day.

The gains in U.S. equities provided a measure of calm to the market after a selloff spread across Asia on Wednesday. Volatility spiked before a Republican health-care bill is set for a vote in Congress. Lawmakers have signaled any setback could delay enactment of tax cuts and spending increases, the prospects for which have underpinned the rally in risk assets since Donald Trump’s election in November. The depth of selling drew some investors back in on speculation the drop went too far given data showing strength in the global economy.

The selloff was the biggest for stocks since Trump’s election. Equities had largely escaped investors’ efforts this year to unwind so-called Trump trades. While the dollar has fallen 4.5 percent from a January peak, global stocks have climbed to new highs, with the MSCI All Country World Index reaching a record last week.

What’s coming up the rest of this week:

Fed chair Janet Yellen is due to speak Thursday.

The timing of the House of Representatives vote Thursday has not been set, with reports differing on whether the Republicans can marshal enough support to pass the health-care measure.

Central bank policy decisions are expected in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

March PMI and final fourth-quarter GDP figures for France are due Friday.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The Topix rose less than 0.1 percent as of 2:45 p.m. in Tokyo, after plunging 2.1 percent on Wednesday.

South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 0.3 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4 percent.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.2 percent, after tumbling 1.8 percent in the previous session.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 0.1 percent after falling 0.6 percent Wednesday in its first retreat in almost two weeks.

Futures on the S&P 500 increased 0.2 percent. The benchmark gauge added 0.2 percent on Wednesday, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after a six-day slump, the longest string of losses since early November. The yen fell 0.2 percent to 111.37 per dollar, after reaching the highest level since November on Wednesday.

The Australian dollar dropped 0.2 percent and the New Zealand dollar rose less than 0.1 percent.

The British pound was little changed after London’s worst terror attack in more than a decade. Five people died, including the assailant and the police officer he stabbed, and at least 40 injured.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds was little changed at 2.76 percent.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries was flat at 2.41 percent after dropping in the previous four sessions.

Commodities

Gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,246.99, after a six-day advance that totaled 4.2 percent.

Oil added 0.8 percent to $48.42 a barrel on speculation record U.S. crude stockpiles that have undermined OPEC’s output cuts may finally be set to shrink.

Source : Bloomberg