Asian Equities Lower as Markets Digest Yellen Comments

Asian stocks fell as investors weighed comments from central bank leaders for clues to monetary policy ahead of conflict negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. slumped 8.7 percent after a person familiar with the matter said Roche Holding AG will decide against bidding for the almost 40 percent of the Japanese drugmaker that it doesn’t already own. Caltex Australia Ltd. (CTX) climbed 4.6 percent after the Australian oil refiner said it plans to cuts 350 jobs and raised its interim dividend more than analyst forecasts.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slid 0.1 percent to 148.31 as of 9:36 a.m. in Hong Kong, after advancing for the past two weeks. Six of the gauge’s 10 industry groups dropped. Slack remains in the U.S. labor market, though interest rates could be raised sooner than expected, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Aug. 22. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi committed to more stimulus.


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