Asian Stocks Decline


Asian stocks retreated, dragging the MSCI Asia Pacific Index from a seven-month high, as a strengthening yen hurt Japanese earnings prospects and the U.S. Federal Reserve projected a deeper recession.

Canon Inc., which got 28 percent of its revenue in the Americas last year, lost 2.4 percent. Takashimaya Co. sank 3.9 percent, leading declines among Japanese retailers, as the first cases of swine flu were confirmed in the Tokyo area. Melco International Development Co., which operates casinos, slumped 9.7 percent in Hong Kong after a venture posted a loss.

Two stocks declined for each one that advanced on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which fell 0.7 percent to 99.53 as of 7:59 p.m. in Tokyo. The gauge closed at its highest level since Oct. 6 yesterday, driving stock valuations to the most expensive since 2003.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.9 percent to 9,264.15. China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5 percent as a Credit Suisse Group AG report said an economic rebound won’t be as strong as many recently have hoped.” Markets in Asia fell except in Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
5/21/2009 8:40:45 AM