American depositary receipts of Sharp Corp., Japan’s No. 1. maker of liquid-crystal displays, fell 0.8 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo on Dec. 3. Those of Toyota Motor Corp., the No. 1 carmaker worldwide, declined 0.2 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s No. 1 mining company and Australia’s biggest oil producer, climbed 0.2 percent in Sydney today.
“The dollar’s weakness against the yen on the backdrop of a slow U.S. jobs recovery will weigh on some of the Japanese exporters,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Tokyo- based Monex Inc. “Risk assets are moving into commodities.”
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 10,170 in Chicago on Dec. 3, compared with 10,185 in Singapore. They were bid in the pre-market at 10,170 in Osaka, Japan, at 8:05 a.m. local time today. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 0.1 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.3 percent in Wellington.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index climbed 0.3 percent on Dec. 3 in New York as a rally by energy and metals producers offset concern that slower-than-estimated growth in payrolls will hamper an economic recovery.
Crude oil for January delivery jumped 1.4 percent in New York on Dec. 3 to $89.19 a barrel, the highest settlement since Oct. 7, 2008, as the dollar tumbled and boosted the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment. Copper rose 0.5 percent on Dec. 3, while gold futures jumped 1.2 percent.
The dollar tumbled on Dec. 3 after U.S. Labor Department figures showed payrolls increased by 39,000 last month, less than the most pessimistic projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Unemployment held near a 26-year high.
The dollar traded at 82.68 yen today in Tokyo, near its lowest level in three weeks. A weaker dollar reduces the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when converted into their home currency.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 11 percent this year through Dec. 3, compared with gains of 9.8 percent by the S&P 500 and 6.7 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Shares in the Asian benchmark are valued at 14.5 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 14.4 times for the S&P 500 and 12.1 times for the Stoxx 600.
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