Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark index heading for a fourth day of losses, after consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly declined and Hong Kong braced for bigger protests as Chinese holidays started.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slid 0.1 percent to 140.20 as of 9:02 a.m. in Japan after retreating to a four-month low yesterday. The measure capped its biggest monthly decline in more than two years in September amid concern Chinese economic growth is slowing and that the Federal Reserve may increase U.S. borrowing costs sooner as it ends asset purchases.
“There are a lot of worries about when the U.S. will start raising rates,” Nader Naeimi, who helps manage about $125 billion as head of dynamic asset allocation at Sydney-based AMP Capital Investors Ltd., said by phone. “There’s growing concern about the Hong Kong situation. If the protests continue, there’s a risk some businesses may pull out.”