July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell from a six-year high, dragging the benchmark regional index lower for the first time in three days, as the yen held gains against the dollar and materials producers retreated.
Bridgestone Corp., a Japanese tiremaker that gets most of its sales abroad, declined 1.3 percent. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. slumped 2.5 percent in Tokyo, helping send materials companies lower. Datang International Power Generation Co., the listed unit of one of China’s five largest power generators, surged the most in more than 15 years in Hong Kong on plans to restructure its coal-to-chemical business.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.1 percent to 147.46 as of 8:07 p.m. in Hong Kong. With the Federal Reserve due to publish minutes of its June meeting tomorrow, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. became the latest bank to bring forward its projection for when U.S. benchmark rates will be increased.
“Markets are worried because the thing that keeps them going up is Fed policy,” said Komal Sri-Kumar, Santa Monica-based founder and president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies Inc. “If they think the rate increase is going to come faster than they previously thought, stock markets react adversely to it. You don’t have any fundamental strength overall in the U.S. economy. The stock market is going to correct sometime in the next few months.”
Asian shares last week completed an eighth straight weekly gain, the longest winning streak since 2012, and closed yesterday at the highest level since June 2008.
Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.3 percent today as the yen maintained two days of gains, trading at 101.73 per dollar. Japan today posted a larger-than-estimated current-account surplus for May. Nippon Steel sank 2.5 percent to 317 yen, and Bridgestone lost 1.3 percent to 3,661 yen.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed little changed and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland firms listed in the city rose 0.2 percent. Datang International surged 23 percent to HK$3.73. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex index gained 0.1 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.1 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.4 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.1 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.3 percent. India’s BSE S&P Sensex Index retreated 2 percent. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index rose to a record.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at 13.5 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 16.1 for the MSCI World Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.1 percent today after the gauge slid 0.4 percent yesterday. Alcoa Inc. will report results in the U.S. today, to unofficially begin the American earnings season.
Fed policy makers have kept their target for overnight lending between banks in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008. Traders see about a 72 percent chance officials will raise the key rate from near zero by September 2015, Fed funds futures show. That’s up from 56 percent at the end of May.
Asustek Computer Inc. sank 2.8 percent to NT$342 in Taipei after sales at the computers and parts maker fell in June.
Aeon Financial Service Co. fell 3.7 percent to 2,594 yen as Credit Suisse Group AG lowered its price target for the Japanese credit-card firm.
Wynn Macau Ltd., a unit of billionaire Steve Wynn’s gaming company, dropped 1.4 percent to HK$30.80 after Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch said Macau casino revenue may decline this month.
Casio Computer Co. jumped 7.5 percent to 1,571 yen in Tokyo after the watchmaker said it will buy back 12.5 billion yen ($123 million) of its own shares.
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