Asian stocks retreated from an almost eight-month high, following a slump in U.S. equities, as materials and consumer shares led losses.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.6 percent to 148.20 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure rose Wednesday to the highest close since July 30, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell the most in 11 months and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index sank 1.5 percent as a selloff in semiconductor shares spread to the broader market. The Asian gauge climbed 8.2 percent this year through yesterday, bringing valuations to 15 times estimated earnings, near the highest since 2010. Still, that compares with 17.4 times for the S&P 500.
“Wall Street is struggling to add to its recent record high and it looks like the upward momentum is starting to show signs of fatigue,” said Matthew Sherwood, head of investment markets research in Sydney at Perpetual Ltd., which manages about $21 billion. “Asia has an advantage over the U.S. as Asia has cheaper valuations. What’s weighing on Asia is the performance of the Chinese economy, which is facing some growth road blocks.”
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