Monday, June 25, 2012

Asian Stocks, Euro Decline Before Italy, Spain's Debt Auction

Asian Stocks, Euro Decline Before Italy, Spain’s Debt Auction

Richard Frost and Mariko Ishikawa, Bloomberg

Published 08:01 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell for a third day and the euro dropped toward a two-week low before Italy and Spain auction securities tomorrow and European leaders meet this week amid concern the region’s debt crisis is spreading.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.4 percent as of 9:47 a.m. in Tokyo, as South Korea’s Kospi index headed for the lowest level in almost three weeks. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.5 percent. The euro weakened 0.3 percent, while the New Zealand dollar tumbled 0.5 percent.

European Union leaders will hold a two-day summit starting June 28, while Italy is scheduled to sell inflation-linked securities maturing in 2016 and 2026 tomorrow as well as 3 billion euros ($3.8 billion) of zero-coupon bonds. Spain will offer three- and six-month bills the same day. India plans to unveil measures today to support the rupee as its slump to a record low against the dollar threatens to fuel inflation.

“There’s no short-term fix to the crisis” in Europe, said Kurt Magnus, the executive director of currency sales in Sydney at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage. “It’s not risk-on yet, not a buy-euro scenario.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has dropped 0.1 percent this year as Europe’s worsening crisis and signs of a slowing global recovery wiped out an 11 percent gain recorded in the first quarter.

India’s currency is Asia’s worst performer of the past year, having tumbled 21 percent versus the dollar, and its decline has contributed to an inflation rate that the central bank deemed last week too high to allow an interest-rate cut. The government and central bank will make the announcement today, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in Kolkata on June 24.

--With assistance from Paul Gordon in Hong Kong. Editors: Alexander Kwiatkowski, Darren Boey

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