Asian stocks slumped, dragging the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to a one-month low, as a record plunge in U.S. home sales and slowing export growth in Japan added to evidence a global economic recovery is weakening.
Asian stocks fell, with Japan’s benchmark index reaching a 16-month low, on signs the global recovery is slowing. The yen retreated from a 15-year high on prospects authorities will act to stem its gains, and oil prices snapped a five-day loss.
Japanese stocks fluctuated as China- related companies fell on concern the country’s economic growth will slow, while chip shares rose for a second day after Intel Corp. forecast sales that may exceed analyst estimates.
Japan’s Topix index rose a third day as the yen fell on signs U.S. lawmakers may strike a deal to raise the debt ceiling and amid optimism the dollar will strengthen after Federal Reserve minutes indicated tapering of stimulus was likely this year.
Tomomi Yamashita, a senior fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, which oversees about 500 billion yen ($5.6 billion), comments on the Bank of Japan’s policy decision today. The central bank kept its asset- purchase fund unchanged at 76 trillion yen ($813 billion) ahead of Governor Masaaki Shirakawa’s resignation next month.