Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading for a second day of decline, after data showed U.S. jobless claims rose and housing starts slumped, signaling a slowdown in the world’s biggest economy.
Panasonic Corp., Japan’s second-largest television maker, slid 1.8 percent. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s biggest gold producer, fell 2.6 percent as the bullion capped the longest slump in 16 months. WorleyParsons Ltd. (WOR) plunged 14 percent in Sydney after the provider of engineering services to the oil and gas industries forecast profit that missed analysts estimates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent to 142.74 as of 9:31 a.m. Tokyo time. The gauge increased 11 percent this year through yesterday as the Bank of Japan took steps to counter deflation and policy makers in the U.S. and Europe remained on standby to buoy growth. The measure is heading for a second week of advance.