Foreign News

European Stock Futures Steady, Yen Watched Closely

European and US stock futures were steady Friday, while shares in Asia dropped. The yen was in focus following a six-day slump, which ratcheted up the risk of intervention. The Euro Stoxx 50 contract was little changed.

Equities in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan slumped as the global tech-driven rally showed signs of fatigue and concerns persisted over China’s economy. US stock futures were little changed, with traders gearing up for the triple-witching derivatives-expiration day.

The dollar traded near a 2024 high ahead of readings on the US and European economies. “The selloff in US tech overnight is weighing,” said Chamath de Silva, senior fund manager at BetaShares Holdings. “We’ve also had some broad USD strength in recent sessions, which often weighs on Asian equities.”

The yen traded around 159 per dollar, its weakest in almost two months. That ramped up the risk that Japanese officials will once again step into markets to prop up the currency.

Masato Kanda, the nation’s top currency official, said that there’s no change in his stance to take appropriate measures if there are excessive currency moves.

 In Japan, inflation accelerated after the government increased renewable energy-related levies, a result that backs the case for the central bank to consider raising interest rates in the coming months. Policymakers left them unchanged and declined to give details on paring bond purchases at their meeting a week ago.

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