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Yen Retreats, Emerging-Market Stocks Gain on Trump

Financial_Markets

The yen retreated after the biggest jump since July and emerging-market stocks rose as investors assessed the impact from Donald Trump’s efforts to rework U.S. trade pacts and comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin on the dollar’s strength.

The dollar pared earlier losses sparked by Mnuchin’s comments that a strong U.S. currency could have a negative short-term effect on the economy. Equities in Tokyo fell to the lowest of the year while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed toward a three-month high. Gold retreated after touching the highest since November while oil climbed toward $53 a barrel. The yield on 10-year Australian bonds fell a second day.

While investors have been looking for details on campaign promises to boost growth and government spending, much of the incoming administration’s initial pronouncements targeted trade or pushed companies to invest more inside the U.S. President Trump promised a “very major” border tax and signed an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

“The first couple of days of the new presidency have seen the rhetoric weighted toward protectionist policies while little detail is yet available on stimulus measures,” said Ric Spooner, Sydney-based chief analyst at CMC Markets Asia Ltd.

Trump’s pro-growth campaign-trail pronouncements helped drive a rally in equities and the dollar after his November election victory. Those trades have been largely unwinding this month as investors assess whether the moves had pushed prices too far, too fast. Meanwhile, money managers are turning their focus to earnings from some of the world’s largest companies, with Alphabet Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. among those reporting results this week.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slid less than 0.1 percent as of 3:24 p.m. in Tokyo, after dropping as much as 0.3 percent earlier. The greenback has fallen for four straight weeks, the longest retreat since February.

The yen fell 0.3 percent to 113.02 per dollar, after jumping 1.7 percent the previous session.

The Australian dollar fell 0.2 percent and the New Zealand dollar slipped 0.1 percent after strengthening to levels last seen in November. The Mexican peso increased 0.4 percent.

Stocks

The Topix fell 0.6 percent to the lowest since Dec. 7, led by declines in banks and exporters.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index fluctuated between gains of 0.3 percent and losses of as much as 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.7 percent, after a two-day slide.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed toward the highest closing price since October, with Indonesia’s benchmark up 0.6 percent. Vietnam stocks are trading near the highest since 2008, while those in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand are at levels unseen in more than a year.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.1 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index slipped less than 0.1 percent after the gauge fell 0.3 percent on Monday.

The Stoxx 600 benchmark index of European shares fell 0.4 percent on Monday to the lowest close since December.

Bonds

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 2.40 percent after it declined seven basis points Monday; bonds had extended their rally after Trump vowed “a very major border tax” on imports in a meeting with business leaders.

Australian bonds gained in the wake of Treasuries, with the yield on 10-year notes down six basis points to 2.70 percent.

Commodities

Gold slipped 0.3 percent after climbing 0.7 percent Monday and touching a two-month high of $1,220.26 an ounce.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4 percent to $52.97 a barrel as Iraq said it’s close to implementing its share of pledged output curbs agreed with OPEC to trim bloated global inventories and stabilize the market. Oil slid 0.9 percent the previous session after U.S. drillers added the most rigs in more than three years.

Copper futures advanced 0.4 percent, increasing for a third day on prospects of stronger demand this year from the U.S. and China. Iron ore jumped 6 percent for its first gain in five days.

Source: Bloomberg