Asian stocks fell, led by Japanese shares, while the yen strengthened as data on Chinese manufacturing and the U.S. economy inflamed concern over the global slowdown. Crude oil and copper retreated as Australian bonds climbed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.4 percent in a fourth day of declines by 9:49 a.m. in Tokyo, as Japan™s Topix index slipped 1 percent. Standard & Poors 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent. The yen, regarded as a haven by some investors, touched its strongest level since Jan. 16, while Korea™s won slipped. U.S. oil dropped 2.3 percent after surging at the end of last week, while copper futures lost 0.8 percent and gold retreated. Australian bond yields slid to records and the Aussie was near a 5 1/2-year low before an interest-rate review on Tuesday.