MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.4 percent after managing to carve out gains on the previous day. Tokyo's Nikkei (.N225) bucked the trend and rose 1.2 percent, with a planned cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe helping fuel reform hopes. In currencies, the dollar, boosted by the flagging euro and gains in Tokyo shares that dented the appeal of the safe-haven yen, rose to a seven-month high of 104.76 yen (JPY=). The market is also keeping an eye on the rise in equities," said Shinichiro Kadota, chief Japan FX strategist at Barclays Bank in Tokyo.
China's latest antitrust probes, which have hit firms such as Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), are not protectionist tools that favor domestic firms, an official of the country's price regulator told the official China Daily. In an interview, Xu Kunlin, director general of price supervision and the anti-monopoly bureau at the National Development Reform Commission, reiterated that the agency was giving equal treatment to local and foreign companies. The probes, which have scrutinized at least 30 foreign firms so far as China seeks to enforce a 2008 anti-monopoly law, have worried U.S. "Such accusations are groundless and baseless," the China Daily quoted Xu as saying.
The European trade body in China said Beijing is not planning to force foreign auto parts suppliers operating in the country to form local joint ventures, dismissing a report last week that had stirred concern among European firms. Germany's Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper reported that China had urged three German car parts suppliers to form partnerships with local rivals, citing the head of German parts supplier ElringKlinger AG (ZILGn.DE). "The European Chamber is confident that these rumors are unfounded and that the Chinese government has no intention to require the formation of joint ventures in the sector," the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement on its website dated Aug. 29. The European Chamber said the JV rumors could be the result of a misunderstanding stemming from existing restrictions dating from 2011 for suppliers in the e-vehicle segment.