Most Asian index futures signaled a return to losses for the region’s stocks, with crude oil near an almost three-week low amid concerns over a global glut and after drugmakers drove declines in U.S. equities.
Futures on stock gauges from Japan to South Korea dropped after speculation over the outlook for Japanese stimulus fueled gains in the regional benchmark on Wednesday. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose after a short-seller takedown of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. roiled health-care stocks, dragging the index lower last session. Anxiety over global demand is hobbling commodities, with U.S. oil below $46 a barrel and gold holding losses following its steepest slump this month.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent by 10:05 a.m. in Sydney, dropping for the second time this week, while New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index, the first major gauge to start trading each day in the Asia-Pacific region, was up 0.1 percent.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average were bid for 18,450 in the Osaka pre-market, down from 18,540 at their close Wednesday. Yen-denominated contracts rose 0.1 percent in Chicago, after gaining 1.2 percent in the previous session. Japan’s currency, which typically moves at odds with local shares, was little changed for a second day, at 119.90 per dollar. Futures on the Kospi index in Seoul dropped 0.2 percent.