Asian stocks fell from the highest level in five weeks, dragged down by a retreat in Japanese shares, after the yen strengthened and oil slumped to a three-year low.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slipped 0.1 percent to 142.03 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets opened in China and Hong Kong, after closing yesterday at the highest level since Sept. 25. A surge in Japanese shares yesterday pushed the Topix index to a six-year high, two weeks after it entered a correction. The yen gained 0.1 percent to 113.54 per dollar today after climbing 0.4 percent yesterday.
“There was little macro data of note last night and corporate news was pushed into the background, which meant the market had few catalysts to hold on to recent gains,” said Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research at Perpetual Ltd. in Sydney, which manages about $29 billion. There was “another sharp decline in global oil prices, which weighed on sentiment.”