Asian Equities Mainly Higher on U.S. Economy

Most Asian stocks rose, after the regional index sank for a third week to close at the lowest level since May, as a weaker yen buoyed Japanese shares and data signaled the U.S. economy is gaining momentum.

Three shares rose for each that fell on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP), which was little changed at 142.01 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets opened in Hong Kong and China. The measure slid 1.7 percent last week to the lowest since May 30 amid concern Chinese economic growth is slowing and that the Federal Reserve may increase U.S. interest rates sooner than some investors are expecting. Hong Kong investors prepared for a stock-market retreat amid the biggest police crackdown on protesters since the city returned to Chinese rule.

“It’s going to spook some investors who are worried that this could drag out, affecting the business climate in Hong Kong,” Vasu Menon, vice president of wealth management at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., said in a Bloomberg TV interview from Singapore. “It’s happening at a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve is talking about tightening monetary policy, a time when China is slowing down. So now you have a third layer of uncertainty weighing on the Hong Kong stock market and it’s something investors could do without at this stage. It is serious.”

Bloomberg

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