TOKYO: Asian stocks fell, with Japan’s Topix Index snapping the longest weekly winning streak in 40 years, as the yen rose and profit reports from Trend Micro and Rio Tinto Group disappointed investors.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 1.2 per cent, led by banks and exporters, as investor weighed whether Group of 20 nations leaders will pressure Japan on the yen’s depreciation. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak later said in Moscow that the group’s communique won’t include the phrase “currency war.” The broader Topix Index lost 1.3 per cent, halting a 13-week advance, the longest such streak since 1973.
The yen rose against its most major counterparts and yields on 10-year Japanese government bonds fell two basis points to 0.745 per cent. The currency extended its advance after Reuters reported that Toshiro Muto, chairman of Daiwa Institute of Research and former deputy governor for the Bank of Japan, is the leading candidate for the governor’s position. A stronger Japanese currency cuts the overseas earnings outlook for exporters.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.1 per cent, falling from the highest level since September 2008. South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.1 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 per cent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index retreated 0.2 per cent.
Gains in Asian shares in 2013 have lagged the US as fewer companies beat profit forecasts. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 3.3 per cent this year through yesterday, compared with a 6.7 per cent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Of the 331 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index that have reported earnings this quarter and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 51 per cent exceeded profit expectations. That compares with the 73 per cent of S&P 500 companies that topped profit forecasts.