Stocks in Europe fell for a third day and U.S. equity-index futures declined. The pound approached a two-year high against the dollar after an industry report showed U.K. construction activity expanded.
Emerging-market stocks lost the most in two weeks and currencies fell as improved U.S. economic data sparked concern the Federal Reserve will cut stimulus. Russia’s gauge slid 1.7 percent and South Africa’s rand depreciated.
Asian stocks fell, with the equity gauge excluding Japan posting its first drop in eight days, as signs the U.S. economy is strengthening fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will soon start tapering stimulus.
China’s stocks rose to the highest level since October, led by steel, material and drug companies, as a drop in money-market rates eased concern of a cash squeeze before the resumption of initial public offerings next month.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s election pledge to turn Australia’s remote north into a food bowl for Asia has set him on a collision course with his own government over foreign ownership of agricultural land.
Hedge funds grew less bullish on gold for a fourth straight week, the longest stretch since November 2012, as mounting concern that the Federal Reserve will curb monetary stimulus sent prices to a four-month low.