Asian stocks outside Japan fell for a third day as a retreat in emerging markets dragged the regional benchmark gauge to its lowest level in a week. Japan’s Topix index swung from losses to gains amid low trading volumes.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. fell 3.9 percent after saying an alarm went off at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactor, indicating high radioactive concentration. BlueScope Steel Ltd. (BSL) fell 16 percent as sales missed analyst estimates and Australia’s No. 1 steel producer forecast a weaker first half of the financial year. JX Holdings Inc. gained 3.2 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. advised buying the Japanese refiner’s shares.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index fell 0.5 percent to 444.56 as of 12:30 p.m. in Hong Kong. Seven of the 10 industry groups on the gauge dropped. The measure has lagged an increase in U.S. stocks this year as growth slows in China and speculation that the Federal Reserve will curb U.S. bond buying spurred investors to sell assets perceived as riskier across Asia and emerging markets. The Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting minutes are scheduled to be released on Aug. 21.
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