Japan’s Topix index fell for a third day as investors await further developments from China after two days of yuan devaluations triggered a sell-off in global stock markets.
The Topix lost 0.2 percent to 1,661.79 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, after falling the most in a month on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.2 percent to 20,429.71. The yen strengthened for a third day against the yuan in offshore trading ahead of Thursday’s setting of the Chinese currency’s reference rate. The yen also rose against the dollar on Wednesday.
The Chinese currency’s devaluation has roiled markets for two days, with European stocks dropping on Wednesday by the most since October, on concern the slowdown in Asia’s largest economy could be worse than previously thought. U.S. stocks reversed losses late Wednesday as a weaker dollar spurred a rebound in commodity prices.
China’s decision to devalue the yuan and shift to a more market-determined reference rate sparked concern the move would sap inflation globally, throwing the outlook for higher U.S. interest rates into question and causing a selloff in the dollar. The odds of a September interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve fell to about 42 percent, from 54 percent as recently as Aug. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent after the underlying measure erased a 1.5 percent decline to close 0.1 percent higher on Wednesday in New York. Commodity-related stocks led gains after the greenback’s retreat ignited a rebound in prices for some raw materials.
Japanese machine orders rose 16.6 percent from a year earlier in June, less than the 17.6 percent gain estimated by economists, a government report showed Thursday.