London Stock Exchange
(Bloomberg) The euro strengthened, while oil and U.S. equity futures gained ahead of a deadline on Greece’s debt swap and data that may show American payrolls increased. Asian shares posted the first three-day drop this year.
The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.3144 as of 8:13 a.m. in London. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 0.4 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent after falling the most since November yesterday. Yields on German 10-year bonds advanced two basis points to 1.80 percent. Oil rose 0.6 percent to $105.30 a barrel.
Germany is scheduled to sell 4 billion euros ($5.25 billion) of five-year notes later today and a report from ADP Employer Services may show U.S. companies increased hiring last month. The Greek government said it will use collective action clauses to compel bondholders to accept its debt restructuring if it receives sufficient consents from investors. The goal of the exchange, which runs through March 8, is to reduce privately held Greek debt by 53.5 percent, helping to avert a disorderly default, according to Bloomberg report.
“We’ve got concerns that the hedge-fund holders of Greek private debt may create a bit of an issue tomorrow night and that may force Greece to technical default,” said Thomas Averill, managing director in Sydney at Rochford Capital, a currency and interest-rate risk-management company.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.8 percent after Australia’s economy grew 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, half the pace forecast by economists. Raw-material producers in the gauge dropped 1.2 percent for the biggest drop among 10 industries. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1.5 percent.
China Life Insurance Co. (2628), the nation’s biggest insurer, slumped 6.1 percent in Hong Kong after saying 2011 profit will fall by as much as half on lower investment yield and bigger impairment losses. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index slid 1.3 percent.
Ten-year Treasury yields rose three basis points to 1.97 percent. ADP will probably say U.S. companies added 215,000 workers in February, versus 170,000 in January, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists.
Copper fell for a fourth day, losing 0.2 percent to $8,278 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities added 0.4 percent, led by gasoline, nickel and crude oil.
Korean Won Falls
South Korea’s won drops 0.2 percent to 1,124.80 per dollar for a third day of declines, the longest losing streak in eight weeks. The currency may weaken 2 percent over the next couple of weeks as global funds pull money from local stocks, Citigroup Inc. wrote in a note to clients today.
“The problems in Europe are casting some concerns over the outlook for export-oriented countries in Asia,” said Yeah Kim Leng, chief economist at RAM Holdings Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur.
The cost of insuring Asia-Pacific bonds from default increased, according to traders of credit-default swaps. The Markit iTraxx Asia index of 40 investment-grade borrowers outside Japan climbed 4 basis points to 170, Credit Agricole SA prices show. The index is headed for its highest close since Feb. 2, according to CMA.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) retreated 0.4 percent. The BSE India Sensitive Index slid 0.4 percent on concerns election losses for the nation’s ruling party may curb the government’s economic reforms. South Korea’s Kospi Index lost 0.9 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 0.7 percent.