Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading for its lowest close since November 2012, as a stronger yen weighed on shares in Tokyo and investors awaited the resumption of trading in China following a holiday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.5 percent to 124.17 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge slumped 4.8 percent last week, capping its seventh weekly decline, as a contraction in Chinese manufacturing reinforced investor concern about the world’s second-biggest economy. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 1.5 percent on Friday after August payrolls data failed to provide clarity on the interest-rate outlook.

China worked to soothe concern over its economy at the gathering in Turkey at the weekend, with officials predicting stabilization in the currency and stock markets in the coming weeks. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in a statement that the rout in Chinese equities is close to ending, and that state intervention prevented systemic risk and stopped a free-fall.

Source: Bloomberg