The offshore yuan extended its decline following Friday’s biggest loss in a year, while most other Asian currencies also slid, led by South Korea’s won. Australian shares continued a rally that’s seen the benchmark index gain every day since the year started. Oil halted a three-day advance.
Data over the weekend showed China’s foreign-exchange reserves fell for a sixth straight month, reflecting efforts by the nation’s policy makers to cushion the depreciation of the yuan, which saw its biggest annual slide in more than two decades in 2016. The yuan was headed for its largest two-day drop since June.
Korea’s won was the weakest major Asian currency Monday, while the Dollar Index was little changed after advancing Friday in the wake of U.S. data showing a pick-up in wage gains. Britain’s pound ticked lower after comments by Prime Minister Theresa May on the U.K.’s European Union negotiations. Australian and New Zealand bond rates climbed following an increase in U.S. yields at the end of last week. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell for the first time in four sessions. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.
Evidence of a healthy U.S. labor market stoked optimism that growth in the world’s largest economy is poised to accelerate. Australian and New Zealand shares climbed after the S&P 500 Index closed at a record for the first time since Dec. 13. Equity markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong also rose. In Britain, May said Sunday that negotiations on Brexit will be about “getting the right relationship, not about keeping bits of membership.”
- The offshore yuan was down 0.4 percent following Friday’s 0.9 percent drop. The central bank set the onshore yuan reference rate 0.9 percent weaker against the dollar at 6.9262, which was still stronger than some bank models predicted.
- The pound was down 0.3 percent at $1.22489. The yen fell 0.3 percent to 117.32.
- The Australian dollar rose 0.3 percent, the biggest major currency gainer against the greenback. South Africa’s rand was next, up 0.2 percent.
- The Korean won slid 1 percent, the most on an intraday basis since Dec. 15.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1 percent as of 11:28 a.m. in Singapore and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was up 0.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent, heading for its highest close in a month.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index was little changed. South Korea’s Kospi Index was little changed. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 percent.
- The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to a record close of 2,276.98 on Friday in New York. It added 1.7 percent in the week, the most since Dec. 9.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to 19,963.80 after setting an intraday high of 19,999.63.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent, trimming a weekly advance.
- Australian bonds sold off, with yields following the U.S. higher. The 10-year Aussie rate added 7 basis points to 2.75 percent, while the comparable New Zealand yield rose 6 basis points to 3.26 percent.
- The U.S. 10-year rate rose 8 basis points to 2.42 percent Friday, while futures were little changed.
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped 0.4 percent to $53.78, halting its advance below $54 a barrel as an increase in U.S. drilling offset signs OPEC members are sticking to planned output cuts.
- Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,175.36 an ounce.