Asian stocks fell, with the regional gauge heading for its first weekly loss in four weeks, after the European Central Bank’s unprecedented bolstering of monetary policy failed to boost investor sentiment.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.3 percent to 125.16 as of 9:04 a.m., heading for a 0.9 percent loss this week. Mounting concern that central banks have lost the ability to jolt financial markets out of turmoil is derailing a rally in global equities. While the ECB’s announcement was an initial shot in the arm for riskier assets, President Mario Draghi’s indication that rates won’t be cut quickly reversed the mood, with investors taking less than 90 minutes to go from overwhelmed at the scale of his move to underwhelmed at the stimulus outlook. The focus now shifts to next week’s meetings of the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve.
Japan’s Topix index lost 1.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index was little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.2 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index fell 0.3 percent, retreating from a record. Markets in China and Hong Kong are yet to start trading.