Japanese stocks fell as the market opened after a holiday. Oil, silver and copper rose after a two-day slide, while the Australian dollar strengthened.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.4 percent at 9:31 a.m. in Tokyo and the broader Topix Index slid 0.3 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index gained 0.2 percent, led by commodity producers, while futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent. Oil increased 1 percent to $90.20 a barrel after dropping 2.6 percent in the past two days. Silver advanced 0.4 percent and copper in London added 0.3 percent. The Aussie climbed 0.4 percent to $1.0227.
“Asia is of course a world major trader and major exporter, and it’s suffering from not only a slowdown in China, but also across all of Europe,” said Matthew Sherwood, Perpetual Investments’ head of investment-markets research in Sydney. Perpetual manages about $25 billion. “We are looking at balance-sheet risks in each individual company because we are in a capital-constrained world.”
Japan posted a bigger-than-expected current-account surplus in August, the Finance Ministry said today. The world economy will grow 3.3 percent this year, the slowest since the 2009 recession, the International Monetary Fund said, reducing a July prediction of 3.5 percent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Greece’s capital today for the first time since the crisis began in 2009. The U.S. third-quarter earnings season begins with Alcoa Inc. today, the fifth anniversary of the all-time high of 1,565.15 in the S&P 500.
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. paced gains in iron-ore producers, climbing 4.3 percent in Sydney, after iron-ore swaps rose yesterday as Chinese buyers returned to the market after last week’s holidays. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, and Rio Tinto Group climbed at least 1 percent.