Asian stocks outside of Japan fell, with a regional gauge heading for its lowest close in a month, as investors weighed developments in Ukraine and corporate earnings.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, slid 1.6 percent in Hong Kong after Asia’s biggest refiner posted first-quarter profit that missed analyst estimates. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s No. 1 gold producer, slipped 3.1 percent in Sydney as the price of the bullion headed for a second daily decline. Posco climbed 2.1 percent after the Korean Economic Daily said South Korea’s largest steelmaker is considering the sale of Daewoo International Corp.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index fell 0.3 percent to 474.78 as of 2:22 p.m. in Hong Kong, headed for the lowest close since April 1, as seven of the 10 industry groups on the gauge declined. Major U.S. indexes recovered in the last hour of trading yesterday, paring losses sparked by the U.S. and European Union levying new sanctions against Russia, amid optimism over mergers and acquisitions. Pfizer Inc. added 4.2 percent after proposing to buy AstraZeneca Plc for about 58.8 billion pounds ($98.9 billion).
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