Asian Equities Drift Lower Before U.S. Payrolls

Asian stocks swung between, gains and losses, with the regional index trading near a six-year high, as private data showed U.S. companies added more workers than estimated before a government payrolls report today.

Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier of toys and clothes, plunged 12 percent in Hong Kong, leading losses among consumer discretionary shares. Malaysian Airline System Bhd. surged 9.5 percent on speculation it may be taken private. Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. fell 2.2 percent on a report the Japanese insurer will approve a 250 billion yen sale of shares. Toshiba Corp. rose 2.3 percent in Tokyo on a report it’s expected to win a nuclear order in Bulgaria.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) lost 0.1 percent to 147.27 as of 11:09 a.m. in Tokyo after gaining 0.1 percent. Nine of its 10 industry groups fell. The gauge rose the past three day to close yesterday at its highest level since June 6, 2008. Its relative strength index, a measure of trading momentum, rose to 74 yesterday, above the 70 threshold that some traders say portends a sell-off.


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