Asian stocks fell, led by Chinese shares after weaker home-price data added to concern that the economy’s slowdown will deepen. The ringgit strengthened after Malaysia’s economy grew faster than economists estimated while wheat fell and nickel led gains in industrial metals.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 percent by 1:26 p.m. in Tokyo, with a measure of Chinese companies in Hong Kong slumping as much as 1.4 percent and Shanghai shares retreating. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed. The ringgit climbed 0.5 percent after data on May 16 showed the economy expanded at the fastest pace in five quarters. Wheat headed for its longest losing streak since 1998, while corn dropped 0.9 percent. Nickel rose 2.1 percent and copper touched its highest price since March.
China’s home prices rose in the fewest cities in 1 1/2 years in April, according to data issued yesterday, while the central bank ordered banks to curb interbank lending as it seeks reduce so-called shadow banking. The government is evacuating citizens from Vietnam after violent protests and damage to factories there, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday. Clashes continued in Ukraine’s east between government forces and pro-Russian rebels who have declared an independent state.
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