Connecticut lawmakers agreed on a bipartisan measure that would ban sales of semiautomatic rifles like the one used in the Newtown school massacre and require background checks on buyers in all firearms transactions.
Asian stocks fell the first time in four days after China’s bad loans jumped the most since 2005 and the yen held gains amid concern about global growth. Indian shares touched a record before paring gains.
Japanese and Australian stock futures rose after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled further monetary easing. Gains in Asian equities may be limited after China’s manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in August and the yen’s rise to a three-week high against the dollar weighs on Japanese exporters.
Donald Williams, Sydney-based chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management Ltd., which manages about $1 billion, comments on Asian equities. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.4 percent to 111.57 as of 11:01 a.m. in Tokyo.
The euro weakened the most in six months versus the dollar as inflation in the region slowed more than forecast and improving U.S. economic data fueled speculation the Federal Reserve will taper stimulus in coming months. Treasuries, gold and U.S. stocks retreated.
Asian shares fell this week, with the benchmark index extending its longest streak of weekly declines since June 2011, as investors shunned risk in a global rout that wiped $1.7 trillion from equities this year.
Asian stocks rose for a second straight week with Japan’s Topix reaching its highest since 2008 as the yen weakened to a five-year low and as U.S. data added to evidence the world’s largest economy is strengthening.