Asian stocks fell for a sixth day after Federal Reserve minutes showed officials support stimulus cuts this year if the U.S. economy improves.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6 percent to 129.83 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for its longest losing streak since November. The measure fell 4 percent in the past five days to the lowest level since July 8. Japan’s Topix fell 0.5 percent and futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) lost 0.2 percent. Markets are yet to open in China and Hong Kong.
Minutes released yesterday from the Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting showed officials were “broadly comfortable” with Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s plan to start reducing bond buying this year, with a few saying tapering might be needed soon. The Asia-Pacific measure gained 1 percent this year through yesterday, lagging a 15 percent surge in the S&P 500 as growth slows in China and speculation that the Fed will curb stimulus spurred investors to sell assets across Asia and emerging markets.