Asian stocks fell for a second day, following U.S. shares lower, as a drop in oil weighed on energy shares.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.2 percent to 133.59 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with material and energy companies leading losses among the regional measure’s 10 industry groups. U.S. crude traded at $40.20 a barrel after slumping to $39.94 in the previous session amid signs of discord between members before Friday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 1.1 percent on Wednesday as tumbling oil prices sparked a broader selloff in equities and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen laid the groundwork for a December interest-rate increase by signaling higher confidence in the U.S. economic outlook.
In a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, Yellen also warned that waiting too long to end the era of near-zero interest rates could force the central bank to tighten too quickly, which would risk disrupting financial markets and the six-year expansion.