Asian stocks declined, with the benchmark index headed for a five-month low, on concern a slowdown in Europe may hurt global growth and as Hong Kong’s government scrapped talks with protesters. Bond risk rose as metals retreated and Brent crude fell to the lowest since 2010.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1.3 percent by 11:41 a.m. in Tokyo, set for its lowest close since May. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures dropped 0.1 percent after the gauge fell the most since April, while contracts on the FTSE 100 Index sank 1.1 percent. Copper in London slid 0.7 percent while Brent fell as much as 2.2 percent. Malaysia’s ringgit retreated from a two-week high before the budget. The cost of insuring corporate and sovereign bonds rose in Asia, Japan and Australia. (AS51)
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said there are signs the region’s recovery is losing momentum, sending a gauge of volatility to an eight-month high. Federal Reserve officials said the U.S. economy may be at risk from a global slowdown as the International Monetary Fund this week cut its outlook for global growth. Hong Kong canceled talks with protesters after leaders of the movement called more rallies.