Asian stocks fell as oil at a 5 1/2 year low weighed on energy companies and a stronger yen and declines in U.S. equities dragged down Japanese shares as the market opened after a holiday.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) slipped 0.4 percent to 137.32 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, before markets opened in Hong Kong and China. The yen rose 0.1 percent to 118.26 per dollar, after climbing 0.1 percent yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank 0.8 percent yesterday after sliding 0.8 percent on Dec. 9.
The decline in crude gathered pace as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA cut price forecasts for the commodity, amid projections a global glut will continue. China trade data today will probably show exports grew 6 percent last month, while imports dropped 6.2 percent, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.