- Topix pares biggest weekly loss in four months as yen weakens
- Indonesian developers gain after surprise interest rate cut
Asian stocks rose, paring the biggest weekly drop in more than a month, as the yen halted a five-day advance while speculation grew that the U.K. won’t vote to leave the European Union.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rebounded 0.7 percent to 126.44 as of 4:23 p.m. in Hong Kong. The gauge headed for a weekly loss of 2.9 percent amid concerns over central bank policies and anxiety over the possibility of a “Brexit.” The killing of a U.K. lawmaker Thursday prompted speculation that Britons could be more inclined to vote to stay in the EU in next week’s referendum.
“The dollar-yen market has calmed somewhat,” said Shunichi Otsuka, general manager of research and strategy at Ichiyoshi Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The fact that U.S. shares have risen is also a tailwind for Japanese equities.”
The Topix pared its biggest weekly loss in four months after Finance Minister Taro Aso escalated his concern about the surge in the yen, calling for coordination with his counterparts to address what he described as disorderly moves in foreign-exchange markets.
The Bank of Japan, Bank of England and Swiss National Bank kept interest rates unchanged after the Federal Reserve reined in its projection for rate increases this year as policy makers cited worries about the potential damage caused by Brexit as a factor in their decisions. Indonesia’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate for the fourth time this year late Thursday, indicating its willingness to support economic growth in the face of mounting global risks.
Both sides of the acrimonious debate over whether the U.K. should quit the European Union suspended campaigning for a second day on Friday after the murder of Labour lawmaker Jo Cox, a strong advocate for voting to stay in next week’s referendum. Cox, 41, was shot dead in the town of Birstall, northern England, in the early afternoon on Thursday.
“Campaigning has been placed on hold and that to an extent steadied the market,” Tony Farnham, a Sydney-based strategist at Patersons Securities Ltd., said by phone. “There’s a significant number of people still undecided and that’s really the swing factor.”
Japan’s Topix index jumped 0.8 percent as the yen weakened after surging 1.7 percent on Thursday. The gauge slumped 2.8 percent on Thursday as the BOJ opted to keep policy unchanged. The Topix lost 6 percent for the week, the worst weekly performance since mid-February.
Chinese stocks trading in Hong Kong rebounded, paring this week’s loss. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 0.9 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index added 0.7 percent.
South Korea’s Kospi index increased 0.1 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex advanced 0.9 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index lost 0.6 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.1 percent.
Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 2.7 percent in Tokyo, pacing gains among Japanese exporters as a weaker yen is seen boosting overseas income. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest miner and Australia’s top energy producer, rose 1.1 percent as commodities from copper to crude oil rebounded. Inotera Memories Inc. jumped 9.9 percent after Micron Technology Inc. said the delay in its acquisition of the Taiwanese chipmaker has nothing to do with financing and that it’s working with Inotera to address issues that will allow the quick completion of the deal.
Indonesian developers climbed after the central bank cut borrowing costs late Thursday, with PT Bumi Serpong Damai Tbk and PT Summarecon Agung Tbk rising at least 4.1 percent.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced slipped 0.2 percent. The U.S. equity benchmark index added 0.3 percent on Thursday, erasing earlier losses of as much as 1 percent and snapping its longest losing streak since February.
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 1 percent after slumping 3.8 percent on Thursday. Oil headed for the biggest weekly decline in more than two months as easing global supply disruptions offset the recent price recovery that pushed prices above $50 last week.