Asian stocks fell, extending a rout that wiped out about $400 billion from the value of global equities yesterday, as Japanese machinery orders declined more than expected and concern grew that central banks from Tokyo to Washington are increasingly reluctant to add stimulus.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker, retreated 3 percent in Tokyo after the yen gained the most in three years. Komatsu Ltd., the biggest maker of construction and mining equipment after Caterpillar Inc., declined 1.4 percent in Tokyo. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. sank 14 percent in Seoul after North Korea called off talks yesterday on a joint industrial zone.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6 percent to 130.72 as of 9:38 a.m. in Tokyo, with six shares falling for each that advanced. Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines are closed for holidays.
“There’s lots of confusion around the world at present about what central bank policy means for the outlook of the global economy, earnings and valuations,” Matthew Sherwood, Sydney-based head of investment market research at Perpetual Ltd., which manages about $25 billion, said by e-mail. “The Fed is likely to continue to be ambiguous about its next step, probably because it’s not sure. This will see markets continue to be volatile.”