Japanese stocks swung between gains and losses as textile makers led gains on lower commodity prices and energy producers dropped as oil continued its plunge.
The Topix added 0.1 percent to 1,362.22 as of 9:15 a.m. in Tokyo after falling as much as 0.6 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed at 16,881.10. The yen fell 0.3 percent to 118.76 per dollar after yesterday gaining 1 percent, the most in three weeks. Crude oil plunged yesterday and is down about 10 percent this year. U.S. stocks dropped after data showed the nation™s services industry expanded at the slowest pace in six months.
The Institute for Supply Management™s non-manufacturing index fell to 56.2, below analyst estimates of 58. Ten-year U.S. treasury notes slid below 2 percent, the lowest level since May 2013. The Federal Reserve will release minutes today from its last policy meeting at which it pledged patience in raising interest rates.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil sank 4.2 percent to $47.93 per barrel yesterday, down 55 percent from a peak of $107.26 in June. The pace of declines is putting pressure on energy companies, oil-related investment projects and the economies of oil-exporting nations.
Futures on the Standard & Poor™s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent today after the underlying gauge lost 0.9 percent yesterday. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index jumped 6 percent, rising above 20 for the first time since mid-December as U.S. stocks extended the longest losing streak in more than a year.
Source : Bloomberg