TOKYO: Asian stocks fell, dragging down the regional benchmark index from an almost six-month high, as a strengthening yen weighed on Japanese exporters. Indian equities surged as the central bank cut interest rates, while Australian bonds sank after economic growth data.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.5 percent by 12:48 p.m. in Tokyo, while Japan’s Topix lost 0.7 percent and Nissan Motor Co. sank 1.8 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent, while India’s S&P BSE Sensex index surpassed 30,000 for the first time and the rupee gained. The yen rose for a second day against the dollar. Australia’s 10-year government bond yields climbed to a five-week high of 2.63 percent. U.S. oil traded at $50.65 a barrel as Saudi Arabia signaled stronger demand before data on U.S. inventories.
Global equities are trimming gains that have added almost $5 trillion of market value during the past six months amid a wave of monetary easing and signs of strength in the U.S. economy. India’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate in an unscheduled move. Data on service industries in Europe and the U.S. are due today, while Chinese lawmakers are meeting in Beijing to discuss policies for the world’s second-largest economy.