MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
<.MIAPJ0000PUS> tumbled 1.6 percent to nearly a five-month low, on
track for its worst one-day performance since August after losing
more than 1.0 percent on Friday. Japan's Nikkei share average
<.N225> gave up the 15,000-level and dropped 2.7 percent.
Expectations of continued stimulus withdrawal by the U.S. Federal
Reserve added to the market's gloom.
Fed officials are seen cutting bond-buying by another $10 billion at
their regular two-day policy meeting beginning on Tuesday, and are
likely to remain unfazed by the ongoing rout in emerging markets.
"Everyone was reminded about last May's turmoil when investors
unwound their positions in emerging markets on worries about Fed's
tapering," said Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist at
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) .KS11 was down 1.7
percent after touching its lowest level since August 29.
Investors continued to fret about the impact of tightening credit
conditions in China as Beijing seeks to curb growth in high-risk
The dollar slipped as low as 101.77 yen early on Monday, its weakest
level since December 6, and was last trading at 102.22 yen, down
about 0.2 percent. The yen's session high marked a strengthening of
more than 2 yen over the past three sessions, as Japanese stocks
withered in line with their global counterparts.
The euro also fell to a seven-week low of 139.25 yen but recouped
some losses to buy 139.85 yen.
"The combination of the drop in U.S. and Japanese equities, and the
sharp decline in U.S. bond yields helped accelerate the short
squeeze, which was already helping the yen recover," strategists at
Brown Brothers Harriman said in a note to clients.
"Renewed yen weakness would seem to require a move back up in U.S.
yields and/or recovery in the equity markets," they added.
[to top of second column]
On Wall Street on Friday, all three major stock indexes dropped for
a second consecutive session, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index
<.SPX> shedding 2.0 percent.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries notes fell as low as
2.706 percent on Friday, its lowest intraday level since November
26. It stood at 2.726 percent in Asian trade.
Argentina, meanwhile, abandoned support of its peso on the open
market last week, sending the currency skidding to its biggest drop
since the 2002 financial crisis.
Latin American stocks tumbled to a 4-1/2-year low on Friday.
In commodities trading, gold rallied for a third straight session on
Monday to a fresh two-month high, after marking its fifth
consecutive weekly gain. Spot gold added about 0.3 percent to
$1,271.59 an ounce, after rising as high as 1,278.01.
U.S. crude futures edged higher on the weaker dollar, rising about
0.2 percent to $96.79 a barrel, though fears of a slowdown in China
Copper on the London Metal Exchange lost 0.2 percent to $7,169 a
tonne, after sinking as low as $7,160, which was its lowest since
(Additional reporting by Dominic Lau and
Ayai Tomisawa; editing by Shri Navaratnam)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.