Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading for the longest losing streak since 2002, ahead of the start of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest phone company, slid 3.8 percent, the heaviest drag on the benchmark gauge. PAX Global Technology Ltd. plummeted 12 percent in Hong Kong after its controlling shareholder sold a stake in the electronic payment product provider.
Ramsay Health Care Ltd. dropped 3.8 percent in Sydney as Paul Ramsay Holdings Pty. sold shares in the company. SoftBank Corp., an investor in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., gained 3.5 percent in Tokyo after China’s largest e-commerce company raised the amount it’s seeking in its initial public offering.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5 percent to 144.34 as of 4:20 p.m. in Hong Kong. It’s poised to drop for a ninth straight day, the longest losing streak since June 2002. Fed policy makers begin meeting Tuesday as they wind down a bond- buying program and consider when to start raising interest rates.
“The big issue is whether the Fed will change its forward guidance to indicate they are getting closer to the decision on putting interest rates up,” said Stephen Halmarick, Sydney- based head of investment markets research at Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which oversees about A$170 billion ($153 billion). “The transition period as the Fed tightens will be difficult for markets in the Asian region. I think we are in for a few months of increased volatility in markets.”
Japan’s Topix index lost 0.2 percent as the market reopened following a public holiday. South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.5 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 0.4 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index slipped 0.9 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index declined 1.2 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index lost 0.8 percent.
The Shanghai Composite Index slid 1.8 percent. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 0.9 percent in shortened trading after the morning session was canceled due to Typhoon Kalmaegi. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the city fell 1.1 percent. China Mobile lost 3.8 percent to HK$94.95.
Economic data Monday showed U.S. industrial production unexpectedly declined in August for the first time in seven months as automakers slowed assembly lines.
The Fed is gauging the strength of the U.S. economy as it winds down a bond-buying program that’s on track to end this year. The central bank has been saying since March that interest rates would stay low for a “considerable time” after it completes the asset purchases known as quantitative easing.
PAX Global tumbled 12 percent to HK$7.30 after Hi Sun Technology (China) Ltd. sold a stake in the company.
Ramsay Health Care dropped 3.8 percent to A$49.10 as Paul Ramsay Holdings sold a 2.2 percent share it owned in the company.
SoftBank gained 3.5 percent to 8,657 yen in Tokyo after Alibaba raised the amount it’s seeking in its initial public offering to as much as $21.8 billion, coming a step closer to breaking a global fundraising record after investors showed strong interest in the shares.
Fuso Chemical Co. soared 19 percent to 6,210 yen after saying it will conduct a five-for-one stock split on Oct. 1.
Biotechnology shares jumped after Japanese researchers transplanted retina derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories Ltd. jumped 17 percent to 1,008 yen and Cellseed Inc. soared 5.7 percent to 1,182 yen.
The Asia-Pacific gauge traded at 13.6 times estimated earnings as of Monday, compared with 16.6 for the S&P 500 and 15.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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