World Economy

Asian Stocks Heading for 3-Week Decline

Asian Stocks Heading for 3-Week DeclineAsian Stocks Heading for 3-Week Decline

Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark gauge posting the longest weekly slump since February, after US stocks tumbled and as the majority of Japanese shares traded without dividend rights, Businessweek reported.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, lost 1.5 percent in Tokyo. PT Bank Mandiri tumbled 4.3 percent in Jakarta after Indonesia’s parliament passed a law scrapping direct local elections, ending a decade-long system of regional democracy. Fanuc Corp., a Japanese maker of industrial robots, surged 4.1 percent after increasing its annual profit forecast.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) lost 1 percent to 142.11 as of 7:34 p.m. in Hong Kong, to an almost four-month low and extended this week’s retreat to 1.7 percent. More than $1.4 trillion has been wiped from the value of global shares this month amid concern Chinese economic growth is slowing and that the Federal Reserve may increase US interest rates sooner than some investors are expecting.

Japan’s Topix index slid 1.1 percent with more than 1,000 companies from Toyota to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. trading without the right to their latest dividend. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent. The Hang Seng China AH Premium Index climbed to 98.09, signaling the smallest discount on Shanghai shares relative to their Hong Kong counterparts since a link between the cities’ exchanges was announced five months ago.

European stocks were mixed in early trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.2 percent lower to 6,628.37 while Germany’s DAX dipped fell 0.2 percent to 9,492.25. France’s CAC 30 edged up 0.1 percent to 4,361.25. US stocks were set for a flat open, with Dow futures adding 0.1 percent to 16,915.00 while S&P 500 futures were up less than 0.1 percent to 1,962.30.

 Indonesian Stocks

Indonesia’s Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index tumbled 1.7 percent, on course for its biggest fall in four months. The vote is a setback to incoming President Joko Widodo, as he and parties supporting him had opposed it.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.1 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was little changed and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.5 percent.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed after the underlying gauge posted its largest decline since July. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, known as the VIX, jumped 18 percent to 15.64 yesterday. That’s 16 percent higher than its average this year.