Asian Stocks Post First Monthly Retreat Since August

Asia’s benchmark stock index posted the first monthly loss since August as GrainCorp Ltd. (GNC) plunged by a record after the Australian government rejected a takeover bid by a foreign rival.

GrainCorp plummeted 22 percent after the government rejected U.S.-based Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.’s planned A$2.2 billion ($2 billion) takeover of the crop handler, saying it was not in the national interest. Panasonic Corp. lost 2.1 percent as Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell from a six-year high. Ryoyo Electro Corp. (8068) surged 9.4 percent in Tokyo after the semiconductor-component maker said profit rose.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent to 142.01 at 9:05 p.m. in Hong Kong. Trading volume has slumped in the past two months after prices surged 6.4 percent in September. More than $8 trillion has been added to the value of global equities this year, the biggest increase since 2009, as central banks took steps to shore up economies worldwide.

“I would expect trading movements to follow fund managers book dressings rather than any specific news,” Evan Lucas, Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Ltd., said in an e-mail. “The fact volumes remain subdued in the fourth quarter and we are approaching seasonality issues with holidays etc., price moves are likely to be thin and easily corrected if they look overdone.”

The Asia-Pacific index jumped 9.8 percent this year, while falling 0.2 percent in November and rising 0.6 percent this week. It traded at 14 times estimated earnings, the highest since May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 16.3 on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday and 15.2 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Japan Inflation

Japan’s Topix index fell 0.2 percent after a measure of inflation in October rose by the most in 15 years, while a gauge of industrial production missed analyst forecasts. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4 percent as Panasonic lost 2.1 percent to 1,175 yen. The measure rose 1.8 percent yesterday to the highest closing level since December 2007.

Consumer prices excluding energy and fresh food rose the most since 1998, in a sign Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making progress in stamping out deflation. A measure of industrial production growth rose 0.5 percent in October, compared with a 1.3 percent gain in September and the 2 percent expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Regional Gauges

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 percent to close at its highest since April 2011, while China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.5 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index sank 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.3 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index jumped 1.3 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent after the index closed at a record on Nov. 27. U.S. exchanges were closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda helped drive a 47 percent surge in Japan’s Topix this year by maintaining monetary easing as he and Prime Minister Abe sought to jolt the nation out of 15 years of deflation. The Topix is the best performing of 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, on course for its biggest annual advance since 1999.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index yesterday rose past 24,000 for the first time since April 2011, before declining 0.1 percent at the close. Equities traded in the city will extend their rally on optimism about China’s biggest package of policy changes since the 1990s and a stronger global economy, according to investors from JPMorgan Asset Management to Pictet Asset Management (HK) Ltd.

GrainCorp lost 22 percent to A$8.72, having earlier slumped as much as 26 percent. The bid rejection is the first time a U.S. company has been blocked from buying Australian assets by Treasurer Joe Hockey, according to law firm Minter Ellison. It’s a victory for farm groups and country-based National Party members of the ruling coalition who campaigned against the bid.

Ryoyo Electro surged 9.4 percent to 1,103 yen in Tokyo, the most in two years, after operating profit jumped 86 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah McDonald at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net

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