Asian stocks weakened after minutes of a Federal Reserve meeting signaled bond purchases may be cut sooner than expected, erasing earlier gains made after China outlined its broadest economic reforms since the 1990s.
Most Hong Kong stocks fell as rising China home prices dimmed prospects for easing of property curbs, outweighing comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that the U.S. is not on a preset course to taper stimulus.
Hong Kong stocks retreated from a seven-week high with China Construction Bank Corp. leading the decline as Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund sold $2.4 billion of mainland lenders’ shares. Stocks also fell as unemployment in Europe climbed to a 15-year high.
Most Hong Kong stocks fell after Citigroup Inc. cut its forecast for economic growth in China next year, overshadowing optimism that stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve will boost U.S. demand for Asian exports.