Japanese stocks fell after the yen strengthened against the dollar as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting led traders to reduce bets that the central bank will increase U.S. interest rates in September.
The Topix index lost 0.4 percent to 1,641.39 at 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with all but six eight of its 33 industry groups retreating. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.2 percent to 20,181.21. The yen traded at 123.92 per dollar after gaining 0.5 percent on Wednesday. China’s currency devaluation continued to roil emerging-market assets, with concern over the impact of a Chinese slowdown on global growth fueling a rout in commodities.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge slipped 0.8 percent in New York on Wednesday.
U.S. policy makers said at their meeting in July that they need to see further improvement in the U.S. labor market and inflation rate before raising rates, the Fed minutes showed. The consumer price index climbed 0.1 percent in July, the smallest advance in three months, a Labor Department report showed Wednesday in Washington.