SYDNEY, June 25 ― Asian shares were subdued today while the battered yen hit a record low versus the euro, although the risk of intervention stemmed further weakness against the US dollar.

Treasuries were little changed as caution set in ahead of key US price data on Friday. With the first US presidential debate on Thursday and the first round of voting in the French election at the weekend, investors remain cautious of how political shifts in major economies could impact their positions.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.3 per cent higher, after falling 1.4 per cent in the past three sessions. Japan's Nikkei rose by 0.5 per cent.


MSCI Asia-Pacific ex-Japan IT index slid 0.5 per cent. Taiwanese shares fell 0.4 per cent.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq tumbled over 1 per cent, dragged lower by a 7 per cent drop by AI bellwether Nvidia as investors rotated out of technology stocks. The Dow Jones, however, rallied 0.7 per cent to a one-month high.

S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were flat.


“It's difficult to extrapolate what can be attributed to technical factors and what's fundamentals in the markets, with price action apparently driven by end-of-month and end-of-quarter positioning,” said Kyle Rodda, a senior analyst at

“A sell-down in tech, despite little shift in rates expectations and the outlook for earnings, may signal a trimming by investors of the quarter's big winners.”

Chinese stocks were slightly higher, with the blue chips eking out a slight gain of 0.1 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.9 per cent.

In a worrying sign about the health of Chinese consumers, e-commerce sales declined for the first time during the so-called 618 shopping festival that ended last week, reports said.

The king dollar dipped a little overnight after recent broad-based gains. The dollar index was last flat at 105.46, having eased 0.3 per cent overnight against a basket of major currencies.

The yen rose 0.1 per cent to 159.45 per dollar, although it is still pinned near levels not seen since late April when the Japanese authorities intervened in the market to stem the currency's fast declines.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said today the authorities are closely watching currency moves and will respond appropriately to excessive volatility.

The currency, however, kept weakening against other major currencies, with the euro breaking major resistance to hit a record top of ¥171.49 (RM5.05) overnight. It was last off 0.1 per cent at ¥171.08.

The Australian dollar also climbed for a sixth straight session to ¥106.38, a 17-year high, thanks to persistent demand for carry trades.

Looking ahead, the much watched US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index is due on Friday. Annual growth in the Federal Reserve's favoured core inflation index is expected to slow to 2.6 per cent in May, the lowest in more than three years.

A low result would likely reinforce market bets on a Fed rate cut as early as September, which futures currently price as a 65 per cent prospect. Two rate cuts are priced in for the year.

Treasuries are mostly steady so far in the week amid a lack of catalysts. Two-year yields held at 4.7255 per cent, little changed for the week while the 10-year yield eased 1 basis point to 4.2341 per cent, and was down 2 bps for the week.

Oil prices were flat for the day. Brent futures held at US$85.95 a barrel while US crude was little changed at US$81.60 a barrel.

Gold prices slipped 0.3 per cent to US$2,325.52 per ounce. ― Reuters