Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index extending a one-month low, after China’s yuan devaluation pushed global equities lower and sent a gauge of emerging-country shares into a bear market.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.2 percent to 139.75 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for its lowest close since July 8. China lowered the yuan’s daily reference rate by 1.9 percent amid a slew of data showing decelerating growth for the world’s second-biggest economy. The nation’s broadest measure of new credit missed economists’ forecasts last month, according to data released on Tuesday, while weekend reports showed exports fell more than expected.
China’s surprise move sparked fears of an Asian currency war and damped bets the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September. China reports on retail sales and factory output Wednesday. Minutes of the Bank of Japan’s most recent meeting are also due.
Japan’s Topix index fell 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.6 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to open.