Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark index set to extend a two-month low, as the yen’s biggest gain in three months weighed on Japanese exporters and health-care shares declined.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.3 percent to 129.67 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, poised for its lowest close since Oct. 6, as health-care and consumer shares led losses. Japan’s Topix index dropped 0.8 percent after the yen jumped 1.2 percent against the dollar on Wednesday, the most since Sept. 1. The regional equity measure is on course for its worst week since September, fueled by a rout in commodities and concern about decelerating Chinese growth, just days before the Federal Reserve decides whether to raise U.S. interest rates for the first time since 2006.
U.S. crude eventually extended losses on Wednesday, closing down 0.9 percent at $37.16 a barrel after earlier rising as much as 4 percent. It climbed 0.7 percent to $37.40 per barrel today. The dollar fell for the first time in four days on Wednesday as the commodity selloff moderated, boosting the currencies of some resource-exporting nations and the yen.