The Stoxx 600, Europe’s benchmark gauge, has advanced 14 percent this year amid increased confidence that policy makers are gaining control over the region’s debt crisis. The S&P 500 has climbed about 13 percent and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index has risen about 12 percent in 2012.
The yen weakened 0.3 percent to 83.75 per dollar, after earlier depreciating to 83.61. Three years after surrendering half a century of control, Japan’s LDP reclaimed power in a landslide election victory yesterday, calling for more government spending and central bank stimulus.
The Japanese currency has lost 12 percent this year, the worst performer among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The dollar declined 3.1 percent in the period and the euro dropped 1.5 percent.
The euro was little changed today at $1.3157. It strengthened 0.3 percent to 110.25 yen.
Gold for February delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1,698.20 an ounce. Bullion is headed for a 12th consecutive yearly gain. Crude oil rose 0.5 percent to $87.20 a barrel in New York. U.S. natural gas futures rose 1.3 percent to $3.314 per million British thermal units, rising for the first time in eight sessions.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.3 percent, the first decline in nine days, as suppliers to Apple tumbled after Citigroup cut its estimates for iPhone shipments. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world’s largest contract maker of electronics, fell 4.7 percent in Taipei.