Asian stocks fluctuated, with the regional benchmark index on course for its worst quarter in four years, as investors awaited data on Chinese industrial profits. Shares in Japan slid.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added less than 0.1 percent to 125.08 as of 9:04 a.m. in Tokyo after slipping as much as 0.1 percent. The regional gauge has slumped about 15 percent since the end of June, heading for its worst quarter since 2011, as the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates with financial markets rattled by concern over the depth of China’s economic slowdown. Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea are closed for holidays Monday, while mainland China will be shut from Thursday for a week-long break.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.4 percent. A 2.7 percent slump in health-care stocks left the U.S. benchmark index down 0.1 percent on Friday.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will resign from Congress at the end of October, following clashes with conservative members of his Republican conference. For some traders, the move reduces the likelihood of a government shutdown as soon as October, while raising the specter of a stalemate later in 2015.