Asian Equities Lower with Australia and Japan Leading

Asian stocks fell, as Australian and Japanese shares drove the regional index toward a four-week low amid concern over the timeline for U.S. interest-rate increases. New Zealand’s dollar rebounded and crude oil rose.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped a fifth day, slipping 0.3 percent by 10:09 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) fell 0.8 percent in Sydney and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.4 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures declined 0.1 percent following the U.S. gauge’s biggest retreat since Aug. 5. The kiwi rallied 0.2 percent from a seven-month low and the pound also strengthened against the dollar. Oil in New York and London advanced 0.2 percent, while copper climbed 0.3 percent in early trading, rebounding from an almost one-month low.

The U.S. reports on wholesale inventories today, as investors speculate over the outlook for interest rates. BlackRock Inc. said the improving jobs market and signs of price growth add to the argument for higher U.S. rates. Apple Inc. (AAPL), which counts companies from Taiwan to China and Japan as suppliers, ended the U.S. day down 0.4 percent after unveiling a smartphone and new iPhones. Shares reached a record Sept. 2.


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