Stock Market Futures 12/29/11 Dow Jones, NASDAQ, S&P Futures:S & P 500 Futures 4.50, NASDAQ Composite Index Futures 7.50,Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures 34 Oil Futures 99.53
The euro continued to face selling pressure in Asia, slipping to ¥100.35 against the yen—its lowest level since June 2001. The single currency also dropped to an 11-month low against the U.S. dollar at $1.2887. Traders said that while many investors remained cautious ahead of the Italian bond auction, thin year-end trading also exaggerated moves in the euro and other currencies.
The single currency was fetching $1.2901 against the dollar, from $1.2940 late Wednesday in New York, and ¥100.46, from ¥100.95. The dollar was at ¥77.87, compared with ¥77.94.
The yen's rise against the euro hurt exporters in Tokyo, particularly those exposed to Europe. Sony dropped 1.7%, Canon fell 0.7% and Nikon lost 1.2%.
Elpida Memory tumbled 8.6% after an Asahi Shimbun report on Thursday that the company is considering applying for an extension on its repayment of ¥30 billion in public funds it received to revive its operations.
In South Korea, a report showing industrial production unexpectedly contracted in November added to a recent raft of weak data in the region, highlighting worries about a slowdown in Asia's economy heading into 2012.
Hyundai Motor eased 0.7%, LG Electronics dropped 0.2%, while Samsung Heavy Industries lost 1.2% in Seoul.
The Sydney market was dragged by weakness in resources amid the fall in commodities prices on Wednesday. BHP Billiton gave up 1.2%, Fortescue Metals lost 2.1% and Newcrest Mining dropped 3.2%.
Regional energy stocks were down on the back of weak crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum was off 1.7% in Sydney, Inpex lost 0.8% in Tokyo and SK Innovation gave up 1.2% in Seoul. February Nymex crude oil futures, which dropped 2% on Wednesday, were up 16 cents at $99.52 a barrel on Globex.
Spot gold was at $1,554.10 per troy ounce, down $2.20 from Wednesday's settlement in New York.