Asian stocks fell, after U.S. shares dropped the most in almost seven weeks, as oil extended its decline and a stronger yen weighed on Japanese exporters. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slid 0.3 percent to 139.70 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo after adding 0.1 percent yesterday. Japan’s Topix (TPX) index decreased 0.7 percent after the yen added 0.6 percent against the dollar yesterday. Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate slumped to five-year lows.
“The oil move we’ve seen has been large and rapid, and whenever you see those large and rapid moves in the market, it creates a large degree of uncertainty,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney, which oversees about $550 million. “In the long term, it will be positive in many ways, but in the short term, it’s an immediate blow to the financial positions of companies participating in the oil sector.”
South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 0.7 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. Markets in China and Hong Kong are yet to open. The Shanghai Composite Index yesterday topped 3,000 for the first time since 2011 as brokerages surged on bets the world-beating stock rally will continue.