World Economy

Asian Stocks Fall Amid US Election Uncertainty

Hong Kong Stock ExchangeHong Kong Stock Exchange

Asian stocks headed for the first back-to-back weekly drop in two months amid a global selloff as investors grew increasingly anxious before next week’s US presidential election and Tokyo shares sank for a second day.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.9% to 136.67 in Hong Kong, set for a 1.5% decline this week. Japan’s Topix index lost 1.6% as it resumed trading after a holiday, capping its worst week in four months. The S&P 500 Index is on its longest slump since 2008, falling for an eighth day Thursday, as investors awaited Friday’s payrolls report for further evidence that the US economy can bear higher borrowing costs, Bloomberg reported.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is poised for its first consecutive weekly drop since the start of September, as Clinton’s commanding lead in opinion polls dwindled. Fresh polls released Thursday put her only slightly ahead of Trump.

The Topix index posted its first weekly drop in three weeks. The yen traded at 103.26 per dollar after capping a third day of advances on Thursday.

Indonesian shares climbed 0.1% for their first gain in four days, paring a weekly drop.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.9%. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 1% after entering a correction this week, tumbling 11% from its 2016 peak in September.

Singapore equities slumped for a sixth day to a June low. Indian stocks headed for a four-month low as health-care companies tumbled amid a US probe on producers of generic drugs.

South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.1% after touching the lowest level since July on Wednesday amid a scandal over influence-peddling allegations that’s engulfing President Park Geun-hye.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index added 0.1%.

Philippine stocks rose 0.9% to end a nine-day slump. The stock gauge entered a correction on Wednesday after falling more than 10% from a July peak.

Genting Singapore Plc surged 11%, the largest gain among shares on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, after earnings at the casino operator topped estimates.

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 traded little changed. The CBOE Volatility Index rose for an eighth day through Thursday, its longest streak of gains since 2013. The measure of market turbulence known as the VIX jumped 70% in that time, to its highest level since the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

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