Asia Shares Fall, Yen Slides

On Thursday, Asian stocks mostly fell as fresh data signaled a further loss of momentum in the economy of China that weighed on sentiment.

The Japanese Yen slid to multi-year lows against the dollar and euro. The Yen was striking seven-year lows against the dollar and a six-year trough versus the euro due to tides of super-cheap liquidity from the Bank of Japan.

The China flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index published revealed factory output contracted in China for the first time in six months.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dropped 0.3 percent to briefly touch a three-week low. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI was down 0.1 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC lost 0.3 percent. Australian shares .AXJO shed 0.4 percent to give up this year’s gains.

The U.S. currency rose 1 percent overnight after the minutes of the last policy meeting of the Federal Reserve disclosed its members were relatively unconcerned about the dollar’s strength. “The market doesn’t really know how to react to this, whether it’s a hawkish or dovish statement, but the reality is I think it’s a truthful statement that we are in a very interesting spot with both headwinds and tailwinds facing this economy,” said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston.

“The Fed has left the green light shining brightly for further USD gains,” said Alan Ruskin, global head of currency strategy at Deutsche. “The USD/JPY take-profit zone still looks some way off — a little ahead of the major 120 yen level.”

The Australian dollar was down 0.3 percent to $0.8590 AUD. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 9 cents at $74.49 a barrel.

Asian Shares Soar To One-Month High On Earnings

On Wednesday, Asian shares climbed to highs of one month after being steered by a robust Wall Street on optimism over corporate earnings and prospects the U.S. Federal Reserve would be reaffirming its willingness to wait for an extended period before raising interest rates.

Led by a 1.8 percent rise in South Korean shares, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.1 percent. The Nikkei share average of Japan also posted a sizable 1.5 percent increase. On Tuesday, U.S. stocks rose more than 1 percent with the S&P 500 coming less than two percent below its record peak set last month.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to announce an end to bond-buying stimulus, known as quantitative easing three with the U.S. economy continuing to gather momentum.

“There are some views that the tapering process could be delayed to run through the rest of this year, but it is more likely that the Fed will maintain its current stance of exercising prudence in consideration of any rate hike,” said Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities.

The Canadian dollar climbed to its highest level in more than two weeks against the U.S. dollar of C$1.1165 while the euro rose to a one-week high of $1.2765 on Tuesday and last stood at $1.2738 in Asian trade.

Apple Bid Rejected For Injunction Against Samsung

A U.S. judge has rejected the latest bid of Apple for a permanent injunction against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in another sign of the diminishing impact of the Smartphone patent wars.

Earlier this year, Apple won a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung over three Apple patents. But, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California denied a request by Apple to stop Samsung from selling infringing features on its Smartphones related to those patents.

Samsung said it welcomed the ruling. “We remain committed to providing American consumers with a wide choice of innovative products,” Samsung said.

Koh ruled that Apple’s reputation as an innovator “has proved extremely robust” despite the patent infringement by Samsung. “Apple has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation or goodwill as an innovator without an injunction,” Koh wrote.

The two leaders in mobile technology had been engaged in global patent litigation until this year over the phones of Samsung that Google’s Android operating system. However, Samsung and Apple agreed earlier this month to drop all patent lawsuits outside the United States.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, 12-630.

Asian Shares Fell On Wall Street

Asian shares fell broadly today while the US dollar was able to hold its position firm after a slump on Wall Street and tensions over Ukraine overpowered markets with a risk aversion mood. Upbeat US economic data (due to a surprisingly large increase in factory orders) was overwhelmed by geopolitical concerns.

European shares were expected to open lower today after a sell-off in equities globally was prompted by deterioration in the situation in Ukraine. US and Asian shares extended falls after it was reported that Russian troops were massing at the eastern Ukrainian border. Russian President Vladimir Putin issued orders to prepare retaliatory measures against the latest round of Western sanctions.

“Looking ahead to European trade, we are calling the major European bourses lower as they also play catch up to losses seen around the globe,” Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG, said in a trading note.

“President Putin reportedly ordered his government to investigate retaliatory sanctions against the EU and U.S. There is also renewed build-up of Russian troops at the Ukraine border resulting in fears of Russia invading Ukraine.”

The drag from Wall Street was enough for regional markets and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.4 percent. Since September 2011, German industrial orders posted their biggest monthly fall in June as companies became more cautious about taking out contracts because of geopolitical developments.

The Dow .DJI had already dropped 0.84 percent on Tuesday while the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.97 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC lost 0.71 percent. The US dollar hit its highest against a basket of currencies.

Asian Stocks Hit Peak Of Three Years On Upbeat U.S. Data

Asian Stocks Hit Peak Of Three Years On Upbeat U.S. Data

On Friday, Asian shares rose to a three-year peak though the US dollar inched away from overnight highs hit on U.S. jobs data that underscored the strength of the economic recovery.

After recent gains, European stocks were seen taking a breather with financial spreadbetters expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 to open 3 points higher and Germany’s DAX to open between flat and 1 point higher.

“Given the strong gains seen already this week, and the absence of U.S. markets for the 4th July Independence Day long weekend, it seems likely that we will probably see a fairly quiet end to what has been a very positive week, with European markets set to open pretty much where they finished off yesterday,” said CMC Markets senior analyst Michael Hewson in a note to clients.

Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.6 percent to hit a 5-1/2-month high. France’s CAC 40 was expected to edge 7 points lower, or 0.2 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 percent.

“The data is driving investors today, and there is no incentive to sell,” said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities and commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas in Tokyo.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 288,000 last month and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent.

“The dollar’s gains look limited considering how strong the jobs data was, as participants are still unsure how U.S. inflation pans out,” said Junichi Ishikawa, market analyst at IG Securities in Tokyo.

“The possibility of Fed’s Chair Janet Yellen shifting to a more hawkish stance has added to the uncertainty. Upcoming data such as retail sales, consumer prices and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) may help clear the mist, if they point to an inflationary trend taking hold.”

Asia Spooked By Loss Of Wall Street

On Wednesday, Asian shares caught gloom of the Wall Street while the United States dollar was on track for a sixth losing session against the Japanese Yen after the Bank of Japan upgraded its view on capital expenditures. The BOJ maintained its overall upbeat economic assessment.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.1 percent, after U.S. stocks fell in a broad selloff. Japan’s Nikkei stock average .N225 skidded 0.6 percent. The dollar lost about 0.1 percent against the yen to 101.24 yen.

“The market is already jittery about falling U.S. bond yields leading to a weak dollar-yen. Kuroda’s comment dismissing the possibility of further easing again won’t do any good to the mood,” said Hiromichi Tamura, chief strategist at Nomura Securities.

In commodities trading, U.S. crude rose 0.6 percent to $102.90 per barrel being supported by a disruption in the oil output of Libya and an unexpected draw in U.S. crude oil inventory according to industry data. Spot gold was up about 0.1 percent on the day at $1,295.50 an ounce.

Appeal of the US dollar was undermined by the recent downtrend in U.S. Treasury yield. On Tuesday, the yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes inched up to 2.51 percent in Asia from its U.S. close of 2.50 percent but it remained close to half-year lows.

Google And Apple To Offer Exclusive Game Apps

Google Inc and Apple Inc are making efforts these days for wooing game developers in an attempt that top game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating system.

Google And Apple To Offer Exclusive Game Apps

The two Silicon Valley giants are luring game developers by providing premium placement to these games on the home pages and features lists of their app stores, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last August, Apple had struck a deal with Electronic Arts Inc for promoting the game “Plants Vs Zombies 2” prominently in its App Store. It also had a similar arrangement with ZeptoLab to promote the sequel to its popular puzzle game “Cut the Rope” that released in December. The sequel by ZeptoLab to its popular puzzle game “Cut the Rope” saw ZeptoLab and Apple agreeing to about a three-month window of exclusivity for Apple’s App Store in exchange for Apple store prominently promoting the game.

Emily Greer, head of Kongregate, likened the contest to an “arms race” for the best content.

“When people love a game, and it’s not available on an alternate platform, they’ll change platforms,” she said. “The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything.”

“Videogames are critical applications,” said Patrick Mork, a former director of global marketing for Google’s app store and now chief executive of mobile- game company Unspoken Tales. “Not only is it where people are spending their time and money, they also showcase the power of computing on their devices.”

Asian Shares Hit Four-Month High On China Data

On Tuesday, Asian shares hit a high of four months after China’s official PMI survey showing the manufacturing sector managed to continue expanding in March and dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Asian Shares Hit Four-Month High On China Data

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose by up to 0.4 percent and reached its highest level since early December. It is widely believed that European shares will gain, with both Britain’s FTSE .FTSE and France’s CAC .FCHI seen rising 0.3 percent. The Nikkei failed to match other indexes and fell 0.2 percent as the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey revealed that Japanese companies are cautious on the economic outlook as a sales tax hike of three percentage points took effect on Tuesday.

Yellen reinforced the need for an “extraordinary” commitment for supporting the U.S. economy. In her first public speech since becoming Fed chair two months ago, the Fed chair remarked here remains “considerable” slack in the economy and job market.

“It seems like she expressed her own dovish ideas. There’s nothing really new and the outlook of the Fed’s policy has not changed that much but the markets like her remarks,” Makoto Noji, senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Gold hit a seven-week low of $1,278.34 per ounce, yen slipped to a three-week low against the dollar of 103.44 yen, and the euro bounced back against the U.S. dollar to fetch $1.3774.

JPMorgan Says Repos Cut To Lowest by US Money Funds

According to a report released by J.P. Morgan Securities, U.S. prime money market funds cut their holdings of repurchase agreements with banks and Wall Street dealers in February to the lowest in over three years.

JPMorgan Says Repos Cut To Lowest by US Money Funds

Repurchase agreements are loan money funds of short term made to banks and dealers secured by Treasuries and other securities while banks and dealers use the cash for financing trades and daily operations with these general collateral (GC) repos. J.P. Morgan analysts said prime money funds while reducing their exposure to private repos raised their stakes in the Federal Reserve’s reverse repurchase agreements by $20 billion last month to $100 billion.

“With the elevated usage of the Fed (reverse repos), we note that prime (money fund) holdings of dealer GC repo dropped to the lowest amount we have on record, dipping below the low reached in April 2011 due to the newly effective FDIC insurance fee assessment rate,” J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in the report.

J.P. Morgan said bank and dealer repos represented 10.3 percent of the prime money funds’ total assets, which was a hair above the 10.2 percent in April 2011. According to J.P. Morgan, prime money funds had about $1.098 trillion in assets at the end of February, down $37 billion from January.

Google+ Contacts Linked By Google To Gmail

A new feature in Gmail by Google could result in some users receiving messages from people with whom they have not shared their email addresses. This risk has already raised concerns among some privacy advocates.

The change broadens the list of contacts available to users of Gmail so that it includes both the email addresses of their existing contacts and the names of people on the Google+ social network. With this feature, users can now send an email directly to friends, and strangers, who use Google+.

This new feature will make it easier for people who use both services to communicate with their friends, said Google. “Have you ever started typing an email to someone only to realize halfway through the draft that you haven’t actually exchanged email addresses?” the company said in a blog post announcing the feature. “You’re in luck, because now it’s easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email.” The company added this new feature would not expose the email addresses of any Google+ users to strangers. Google is planning to send an email to all Google+ users during the next two days alerting them to the change and explaining how to change their settings, a Google spokeswoman said.

The new feature was called “troubling” by Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center. “There is a strong echo of the Google Buzz snafu,” he said while referring to a social networking service that Google launched in 2010.