Asian stocks fell from the highest level in five weeks, dragged down by a retreat in Japanese shares, after the yen strengthened and oil slumped to a three-year low.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1 percent to 142.03 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets opened in China and Hong Kong, after closing yesterday at the highest level since Sept. 25. A surge in Japanese shares yesterday pushed the Topix index to a six-year high, two weeks after it entered a correction. The yen gained 0.1 percent to 113.54 per dollar today after climbing 0.4 percent yesterday.
Japan’s Topix slid 0.2 percent as SoftBank Corp. fell 3.1 percent after forecasting its first drop in operating profit in at least nine years as billionaire Masayoshi Son’s goal of creating the world’s largest wireless carrier stalls on losses at Sprint Corp.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks in Tokyo today, his first address since he unexpectedly bolstered stimulus on Oct. 31 and the nation’s pension fund increased its equities allocation target.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3 percent. Morgan Stanley reversed its forecast for the country’s benchmark stocks gauge to gain over the next 12 months.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 0.1 percent after reporting a 9.5 percent increase in first-quarter cash profit on increased revenue and lower charges for bad debts.
South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.4 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.1 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.2 percent today after sliding yesterday to the lowest since October 2011. Concern over a global oil glut has intensified this week after Saudi Arabia cut prices to the U.S.