Asian stocks declined after weaker-than-forecast U.S. retail sales fueled concern about growth in the world’s largest economy, strengthening the yen and sending Japanese shares lower.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent to 152.45  as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo. Sales at U.S. retailers were little changed in April compared with expectations for a 0.2 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid less than 0.1 percent Wednesday for a third day of losses.

The yen gained 0.6 percent against the dollar Wednesday after the sales report. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its forecast for second-quarter U.S. economic growth to 2 percent from 2.5 percent.

Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.6 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to open.

Source : Bloomberg