Asian stocks declined after weaker-than-forecast U.S. retail sales fueled concern about growth in the world’s largest economy, strengthening the yen and sending Japanese shares lower.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent to 152.45 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo. Sales at U.S. retailers were little changed in April compared with expectations for a 0.2 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid less than 0.1 percent Wednesday for a third day of losses.
“While U.S. growth is rebounding, it may not rebound as far and as fast as many investors had expected,” Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at New York-based BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest asset manager, said on Bloomberg TV. “The Fed is likely to raise rates this fall.”