Home >market >stock-market-news >Asian stocks fall for fourth day as consumer companies lead drop

Sydney: Asia-Pacific stocks fell a fourth day, with the benchmark index sliding to its lowest level in almost four weeks, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated from a record and as consumer shares slipped.

Calbee Inc., Japan’s largest seller of potato chips, dropped 3.2%. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, slid 2% after the price of bullion closed yesterday at a three-month low. Honda Motor Co., a car maker that gets about 84% of sales abroad, added 1.1% as Japan’s currency touched the weakest in almost six years.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.3% to 147.89, its lowest level since 14 August, as of 7.31pm in Hong Kong. The equity gauge rose 14% from a February low through Monday amid signs the US economy is strengthening and as China introduced stimulus. The S&P 500 retreated from an all-time high on Monday following a five-week rally.

“The market is taking its lead from the US," Daphne Roth, head of Asian equity research at ABN Amro Private Banking, which manages about $218 billion said by phone. “We’re seeing a temporary consolidation after the recent rally. Global economic growth is still on track. We’re still overweight on equities."

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.3%. The Jakarta Composite Index declined 0.9%, and the Philippine Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped 0.8%. India’s S&P BSE Sensex index fell 0.2%. Taiwan’s Taiex index added 0.3%, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed little changed. Markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for a holiday.

Topix gains

Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.1%, paring gains of as much as 0.5%, after the yen touched its lowest since October 2008.

“The weaker yen will steadily contribute to exporters’ earnings," said Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co. in Tokyo. “We’re getting closer to an end to tapering and the raising of interest rates in the US, so this yen weakening is set to continue."

While the Bank of Japan maintained an unprecedented level of stimulus as Asia’s second-largest economy weakened, the Federal Reserve has been winding back its stimulatory bond buying programme this year and is due to report on the outlook for monetary policy next week.

Relative value

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at 13.7 times estimated earnings at the last close, compared with 16.7 for the S&P 500 and 15.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed on Tuesday. The US equity benchmark gauge retreated 0.3% as declines in energy companies along with oil prices overshadowed a rally by Yahoo Inc.

European Union governments abruptly put on hold for at least a “few days" new sanctions against Russia, allowing more time to assess the viability of a cease-fire in Ukraine without risking further trade retaliation by the Kremlin.

Consumer companies led declines among the 10 industry groups on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Calbee dropped 3.2% to 3,380 yen in Tokyo, the biggest slide since 14 March. NH Foods Ltd, a producer of processed meat products, slipped 2.5% to 2,121 yen.

Gold producers dropped as the bullion traded near the lowest since 9 June. Newcrest slipped 2% to A$10.51 in Sydney. Alacer Gold Corp. fell 2.2% to A$2.28.

MMC slumps

Okuma Corp. dropped 5% to 803 yen in Tokyo after Credit Suisse Group AG cut its rating on the machine-tools maker to underperform from outperform and reduced its share-price forecast to 750 yen from 1,300 yen.

MMC Corp., which has interests in ports and utilities, sank 4.9% to 2.54 ringgit in Malaysia, extending losses for a second day. The Edge Malaysia reported over the weekend that construction of its unit Malakoff Corp.’s coal-fired power plant may be delayed by more than six months. Malakoff may have to pay the government 110 million ringgit ($34.5 million) as a result of the delay, according to the report.

Japanese exporters advanced. Honda climbed 1.1% to 3,592.5 yen. Mazda Motor Corp., which gets three quarters of its sales overseas, gained 1.6% to 2,569 yen. Sony Corp., the maker of PlayStation game consoles, added 1.2% to 2,042 yen.

SoftBank Corp. jumped 4.5% to 7,969 yen, extending its two-day gain to 6.7%, after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, in which the Tokyo-based phone carrier owns a stake, unveiled details of its initial share sale. Bloomberg

Toshiro Hasegawa in Tokyo contributed to this story.

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