Most Asian stocks dropped, tracking declines in U.S. shares, as a stronger yen dragged down Japanese equities.
About two shares fell for each that rose on the dollar-denominated MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which added 0.2 percent to 131.73 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index slid 0.5 percent after the yen gained 0.8 percent against the dollar on Wednesday as traders pared back bets on a U.S. interest-rate increase this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.5 percent as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. predicted earnings will decline next year and quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. disappointed. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped for the first time in six days on Wednesday after data showed Chinese factory-gate prices matched their biggest slump since the global financial crisis.
South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.2 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index lost 0.1 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to start trading.
Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index gained 1 percent in most recent trading, while contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in Hong Kong added 0.2 percent, as did those on the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
E-mini futures on the S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent after the underlying gauge posted its first back-to-back declines in more than two weeks.
Bets on the Federal Reserve boosting borrowing costs at its October meeting slid to just 4 percent and odds of an increase before the end of the year are now 27 percent.