Most emerging-market stocks fell, led by the biggest tumble in Indonesia’s benchmark index since August, after the nation’s parliamentary election results disappointed investors while Chinese trade unexpectedly shrank.
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) retreated 3.1 percent as Indonesian stocks accounted for all eight of the biggest losers on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The rupiah weakened 0.6 percent against the dollar. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) declined 0.7 percent as losses in raw-materials companies offset a rally in brokerages. South Korea’s won rose to the strongest level since 2008 as meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve eased concern that interest rates will rise.
The MSCI index was little changed at 1,015.77, with almost three stocks falling for every two that gained as of 12:46 p.m. in Hong Kong. Indonesia’s early legislative vote results showed the opposition party favored by investors failed to win enough support to run for the presidency without forming a coalition. China’s exports and imports decreased in March, underscoring the depth of the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
“The politics in Indonesia isn’t that positive today,” Vivek Misra, an Asia equity strategist at Societe Generale SA, said by phone from Bangalore. In China, policy makers “won’t let the economy slide down too much.”
Stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong pared early losses after Premier Li Keqiang said China plans to link the cities’ exchanges, spurring speculation they are close to an agreement on mutual market access. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) slipped less than 0.1 percent.
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