Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index retreating from a six-week high, after reports showed an unexpected slump in Chinese exports and slower growth in Japan than economists had projected. Malaysian Airline System Bhd. slumped.
The Australian dollar fell as weaker-than-estimated Chinese data stoked concern over the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy. Asian index futures dropped at the end of last week as U.S. stocks and crude oil climbed amid signs of an improving jobs market.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he intends to finalize a trade deal with South Korea on a trip starting today, after the two countries struggled for more than eight years to reach an agreement.
Asian stocks rose this week, with the regional gauge capping its longest streak of weekly gains since September, as U.S. data signaled resilience in the world’s biggest economy and concern about the Ukraine crisis eased.
U.S. efforts to speed natural gas exports as a way to loosen Russia’s grip on European energy supplies may be thwarted by lengthy reviews and developer reluctance to proceed with multibillion-dollar projects.