Asian Stocks Sharply Down following U.S. Lead

Asian stocks fell, with Japanese shares dragging the regional index down the most in five weeks. The yen weakened after surging the past two days, while Australian bonds rose.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1.1 percent at 12:43 p.m. in Tokyo, poised for its biggest drop since Dec. 12. Japan’s Topix Index (TPX) slid 1.8 percent after a holiday yesterday. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures were little changed following the biggest U.S. equities retreat since November. The yen declined 0.5 percent against the greenback following a 1.7 percent, two-day jump and China’s yuan was fixed at a 20-year high. Yields on 10-year Australian bonds fell 4 basis points, while rubber slid.

Federal Reserve board members Charles Plosser and Richard Fisher are scheduled to speak today after Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart yesterday backed reductions in bond buying in the U.S., where retail sales data is due today. European industrial output figures will be released today. Japan posted a record current-account deficit for November.


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