Asian stocks fell as China set the lowest economic growth target in more than 15 years and investors assessed American data on jobs and service industries.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent to 145.32 as of 9:04 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure in February posted its biggest monthly advance since September 2013, and traded yesterday at 14.6 times estimated earnings, near an almost two-year high. China’s goal of about 7 percent comes as leaders tackle the side effects of a generation-long expansion that has spurred corruption, debt risks and pollution.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.4 percent on Wednesday. Companies added fewer workers to U.S. payrolls in February compared with the previous month, figures from Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed before Friday’s official data, while service industries unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace in February. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed most of the U.S. economy continued to grow from January through mid-February, as spending and manufacturing rose.
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