Japan Leads Asian Equities Lower

Asia extended a selloff in global equities on Thursday, as heightened concerns about world economic growth sent Japanese stocks tumbling and U.S. Treasury yields down.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS extended early losses and was down 0.6 percent while Japan’s Nikkei stock average .N225 tumbled 2.2 percent and touched a 4-1/2-month low.

“It’s clear that people are avoiding risks,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, chief portfolio manager at Commons Asset Management. “People started to doubt that the Japanese market may not be able to keep rising only on the recovering U.S. economy.”  But S&P 500 e-mini futures .ESc1 edged up 0.2 percent, which might portend a more stable day ahead on Wall Street as investors await more U.S. data.

September industrial output and weekly jobless claims will be released later on Thursday and could paint a brighter picture than downbeat figures released on Wednesday, which came after a recent spate of weak figures from China and Europe raised fears about the health of the global economy.  The S&P 500 .SPX briefly turned negative for the year on Wednesday, while European equities .FTEU3 shed 3.2 percent to mark their biggest one-day slide in almost four years.

Reuters

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