Asian Equities Head for First Drop in Four Days

Asia’s regional benchmark stock gauge headed for the first decline in four days, with South Korean shares slipping as the market reopened from a holiday. Healthcare and consumer companies led declines.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.1 percent to 153.73 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo. The dollar-denominated measure added 0.7 percent over the past three days. Investors await a report on U.S. durable goods Tuesday after last week’s reading on inflation was stronger than expected, bringing the Federal Reserve a step closer to raising interest rates.

“The central scenario still points to a September liftoff” for U.S. rates, Cameron Bagrie, chief economist in Wellington at ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd., wrote in a note to clients. “We look set to enter a heightened period of sensitivity. Higher rates will be a good thing; the challenge is to ensure, or be satisfied, there is enough in the fundamentals to ensure equities don’t freak out.”


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