Asian stocks retreated, with the regional benchmark index heading for its first monthly decline in seven months, as commodities fell and the yen traded near a three-week high.
Honda Motor Co. (7267), which gets 46 percent of sales from North America, slid 3 percent on concern a stronger yen will damp the earnings outlook for Japanese exporters. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest mining company and Australia’s No. 1 oil producer, lost 1.6 percent after crude and copper futures dropped. Langham (1270) Hospitality Investments Ltd. slumped 9.2 percent on the hotel operator’s first trading day in Hong Kong.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1.4 percent to 136.05 as of 12:32 p.m. in Tokyo, with about five shares falling for each that rose. All 10 industry groups dropped on the gauge, which is poised to close at the lowest level since April 18. The measure is heading for a 4.2 percent decline this month 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.