Japanese stocks fluctuated after the dollar continued to tumble against the yen, weighing on the earnings outlook for exporters, while energy explorers gained on higher crude oil prices.
The Topix index declined 0.1 percent to 1,357.03 as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo, swinging from a gain of less than 0.1 percent, as the measure headed for a second week of losses after jumping 15 percent over the preceding three weeks. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.3 percent to 16,894.01. The yen traded at 111.41 against the dollar after touching 110.67 on Thursday. The dollar reached its largest two-day decline since 2009 as investors recalculated the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate tightening path after the central bank cut forecasts for economic growth and inflation.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent. The underlying U.S. equity gauge rose near its break-even level for the year on Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased its 2016 losses. The weaker dollar spurred a rally in commodity producers and industrial shares that spread to the broader U.S. stock market.
U.S. crude oil prices held above $40 a barrel, close to its highest point this year.