Japanese stocks fell for a third day after the dollar continued to tumble against the yen yen as investors became more certain the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising U.S. interest rates. Electrical appliance makers and shippers led losses.
The Topix index dropped 0.4 percent to 1,465.28 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with three shares falling for every two that rose. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.6 percent to 17,783.02. The yen traded near a seven-week high of at 118.72 per dollar after strengthening for the past three days, reducing the outlook for overseas earnings by Japanese exporters.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent after the underlying gauge fell 0.5 percent on Wednesday, marking its first back-to-back declines in more than two weeks. Investors are anxious about corporate profits as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. predicted earnings will decline next year and quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. disappointed.
The odds that a U.S. rate increase will be delayed until at least 2016 climbed to the highest this year. Traders’ bets that the Fed will lift its benchmark by year-end have dropped to less than a 30 percent chance, and aren’t much higher for January. For March, the probability has tumbled to about 49 percent, from 66 percent at the start of the month.