Asian Equities Fall with Eyes on Hong Kong

Asian stocks fell, with the regional index headed for its biggest monthly drop since May 2012, amid concern over tensions in Hong Kong and as a Chinese manufacturing gauge missed estimates. The dollar held its largest quarterly advance since the global financial crisis.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 1.1 percent by 11:44 a.m. in Tokyo, pushing it down 5.6 percent in September. The Hang Seng Index dropped 1.4 percent as pro-democracy protests continued to choke off roads around the city. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures fell 0.1 percent after the U.S. gauge lost 0.3 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed and New Zealand’s dollar was set for its worst quarter since 2008. Oil in New York slipped 0.2 percent.

Global stocks dropped for the first quarter in more than a year and sovereign bonds are beating corporate debt by the most since 2011 as speculation about Federal Reserve interest-rate increases and geopolitical tensions spur risk aversion. Leaders of Hong Kong’s protests set an Oct. 1 deadline for their demands to be met. With mainland markets poised to close for a weeklong national holiday, a China purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Pls and Markit Economics showed a slower-than-estimated expansion this month.

Bloomberg

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