Most Asian stocks fell, following a drop in U.S. equities, as industrial companies declined and investors awaited manufacturing data from China.
About three shares dropped for every two that rose on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which traded little changed at 148.77 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure closed yesterday at its highest since Sept. 4, and traded at 15 times estimated earnings, the highest multiple in almost five years. Preliminary manufacturing data due today in the region may be mixed, with a private report from China expected to show growth is slowing and a purchasing managers’ index from Japan likely to signal accelerating expansion.
“Markets are a little bit uncertain on where to turn next as equity valuations are starting to look stretched,” Tony Farnham, an analyst in Sydney at Patersons Securities Ltd., said by phone. “Commodity shares will struggle to find support if China’s manufacturing numbers disappoint.”
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