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, with the regional benchmark index heading for the biggest drop in eight months, amid concern an unprecedented levy on bank deposits in Cyprus will plunge Europe back into crisis and that China will add property curbs.
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.
Asian stocks outside Japan rose as comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and economic reports across the region fueled speculation that central banks will boost stimulus measures. Japanese stocks fell as the yen rose against most of its major counterparts.