Asia’s regional benchmark stock gauge headed for the first decline in four days, with South Korean shares slipping as the market reopened from a holiday. Healthcare and consumer companies led declines.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.1 percent to 153.73 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo. The dollar-denominated measure added 0.7 percent over the past three days. Investors await a report on U.S. durable goods Tuesday after last week’s reading on inflation was stronger than expected, bringing the Federal Reserve a step closer to raising interest rates.
“The central scenario still points to a September liftoff” for U.S. rates, Cameron Bagrie, chief economist in Wellington at ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd., wrote in a note to clients. “We look set to enter a heightened period of sensitivity. Higher rates will be a good thing; the challenge is to ensure, or be satisfied, there is enough in the fundamentals to ensure equities don’t freak out.”