Asian stocks retreated, with the regional benchmark index heading for a six-week low, after commodities fell and the yen gained, damping the earnings prospects for Japanese exporters.
Honda Motor Co. (7267), which gets 46 percent of sales from North America, slid 3 percent, pacing declines among Japanese exporters. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company and Australia’s top oil producer, lost 0.9 percent after crude oil and copper futures dropped.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1 percent to 136.63 as of 9:33 a.m. in Tokyo, with all 10 industry groups falling on the gauge, which is poised to close at the lowest level since April 19. The measure is heading for its first monthly decline in seven months as speculation grows that the Federal Reserve will reduce its bond purchases as the U.S. economy improves and amid signs of an economic slowdown in China.