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Asia Stocks Fall, Paring Weekly Gain, on U.S. Data, China

Asian stocks fell, paring a weekly gain on the benchmark regional index, amid speculation China will keep property curbs in place and as U.S. economic reports missed estimates.

Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s top carmaker by market value, fell 1.8 percent in Tokyo. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd., a developer that gets all its revenue from China, slumped 1.8 percent in Hong Kong after Xinhua News Agency said the government won’t relax property controls. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. declined 1 percent in Taipei after saying revenue will “dip” in the fourth quarter amid a weak global economy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.7 percent to 116.73 as of 5:25 p.m. in Tokyo, paring this week’s gain to 1.3 percent. About five shares fell for every three that rose.

“The shape of recovery is still uncertain,” said Prasad Patkar, who helps manage about $1 billion at Platypus Asset Management Ltd. in Sydney. “Equity investors need to be patient in any case, but more so at the present time. Valuations are low, which means dividend yields are reasonable.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has trimmed its loss from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday to a 8.9 percent decline amid optimism central banks from China to the U.S. will ease monetary policy. The Asian benchmark trades at 11.9 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.3 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 11 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 1.4 percent, led by insurers and brokerages. South Korea’s Kospi Index was little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.2 percent.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index declined 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.7 percent.

U.S. Housing

Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent today. The gauge added 0.3 percent in New York yesterday after International Business Machines Corp., the world’s biggest computer-services provider, and EBay Inc., the largest Internet marketplace, beat profit forecasts. Gains were limited after U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly fell and manufacturing in the Philadelphia region contracted for a third month.

Earnings have exceeded analyst estimates for 63 of the 86 companies listed on the S&P 500 that have reported quarterly results this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profits have slumped 0.8 percent for the group.

Toyota slumped 1.8 percent to 2,967 yen. James Hardie Industries SE, a building-products maker that receives about two-thirds of its sales from the U.S., slumped 0.7 percent to A$8.32.

Property Curbs

China won’t relax property control policies and will instead seek to keep a “firm grip” on the real-estate market to prevent a rebound in housing prices, Xinhua News Agency said, citing a government circular. Cities that have loosened controls must “set straight” government policies, the report said.

Home prices in June climbed in 25 out of 70 cities that the government tracks, the most since July last year, according to a report from China’s statistics bureau released on July 18.

Shimao slumped 1.8 percent to HK$11.16 in Hong Kong, while China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd., the biggest Hong Kong-listed mainland developer by value, fell 2.6 percent to HK$17.10.

Taiwan Semiconductor declined 1 percent to NT$76.70 in Taipei. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Morris Chang maintained the company’s record spending target while lowering his full-year estimate for global chip market growth.

Nisshin Steel Co. fell 6.5 percent to 86 yen in Tokyo after Nucor Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker by market value, posted second-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates after prices for the metal fell.

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