Most Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index posting its biggest weekly drop since August, as improving U.S. economic data fueled speculation the Federal Reserve may bring forward stimulus cuts.
The U.S. economy expanded more in the third quarter than initially estimated as unsold merchandise piled up at the fastest rate since early 1998, setting the stage for a possible slowdown in the final three months of the year.
The Canadian dollar appreciated for the first time in five days, rising from a more than three-year low, amid speculation employment growth may suggest stronger economic improvement than the Bank of Canada indicated.
Applications for U.S. employment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in more than two months as the data becomes more difficult to adjust for seasonal variations during the year-end holiday period.
Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index declining to a three-week low, amid concern signs of improvement in the U.S. jobs market will prompt the Federal Reserve to bring forward cuts to stimulus.
Allowing emergency unemployment benefits to expire at the end of the year would cause the U.S. jobless rate to decline by as much as 0.5 percentage point, according to Michael Feroli at JPMorgan Chase & Co.