Asian stocks declined for the fourth time in five days on prospects the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus efforts as the U.S. economy improves. The yen and South Korea’s won weakened while oil advanced.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.4 percent as of 9:46 a.m. in Tokyo. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed, and Japan’s Topix index lost 0.2 percent. The yen slid against all its major peers and the won sank 0.2 percent against the dollar. Crude rose 0.5 percent and copper fell 0.4 percent.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jan Hatzius and Joseph Lavorgna at Deutsche Bank AG predict the Fed may begin to taper bond purchases beginning in September. Australia will release data on first-quarter gross domestic product today, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to outline the “third arrow” of his economic revival plan.