Japanese stocks fell, following global equities lower, after China’s devaluation of its currency heightened concern about slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy and damped the outlook for exporters.
The Topix index declined 0.3 percent to 1,682.55 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with all but eight of its 33 industry groups falling. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.3 percent to 20,650.18. The yen rose 0.3 percent to 19.54 per yuan in offshore trading after yesterday strengthening the most since December after the biggest yuan devaluation in two decades. The move stoked fears of a new currency war and sparked a sell-off in global shares.
China’s policy shift follows economic reports this month that showed a plunge in overseas shipments, weaker-than-estimated manufacturing and slowing credit growth. The move to support exporters and stem the deepest economic slowdown since 1990 heightens the risk of competitive currency devaluations as global demand wanes.
China reports retail sales and factory output Wednesday, which may provide further clues on the extent of the slowdown. Minutes of the Bank of Japan’s most recent meeting are also due.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent after the underlying measure slumped 1 percent on Tuesday in New York. Carmakers and luxury-goods producers slipped, with the yuan’s steepest decline in at least 20 years seen as eroding the buying power of Chinese consumers. The Europe Stoxx 600 Index fell 1.6 percent. Emerging-market stocks entered a bear market.