Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index extending its weekly loss, as investors await reports on Chinese trade and U.S. payrolls.
Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s biggest shippers of iron-ore to China, fell at least 1.9 percent. Mitsubishi Materials Corp., which processes metals, dropped 1.9 percent in Tokyo as it plans to halt a plant after an explosion. Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., which has the Japanese distribution rights for a liver-disease drug developed by Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc., soared 12 percent after a clinical trial proved successful.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.4 percent to 138.46 as of 10:02 a.m. in Tokyo, on course for a 1.3 percent loss this week. More than two stocks fell for each that rose on the index. A U.S. Labor Department report today is projected to show American employers added more jobs in 2013 than at any point in the past eight years. Growth in Chinese exports and imports probably slowed last month, according to economists.