Asian Stocks Fall as Financials Lead Drop; Chinese Shares Rise

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Asian stocks fell for a second day, led by declines in financial and consumer companies, with Japanese shares snapping a 12-day winning streak. Chinese equities climbed as an index of smaller firms closed at a record.

Hyundai Motor Co. slumped 10 percent to the lowest level in almost five years in Seoul after the carmaker’s domestic sales declined for a second month. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s largest bank, fell 1.8 percent as a gauge of Asian financial shares led the regional retreat. NTT Docomo Inc. surged 3.9 percent in Tokyo after the Nikkei newspaper reported the mobile carrier will boost shareholder returns with equity buybacks and cost cuts.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.7 percent to 150.17 as of 4:15 p.m. in Hong Kong, on course for the lowest close since April 7. Japan’s Topix index fell 0.3 percent to halt its longest winning streak since August 2009, after a 5.5 percent surge over the prior 12 days. The Shanghai Composite Index’s 1.7 percent gain brought its rally this year to 52 percent.

“We’re getting increased volatility now because the market has risen to such high levels,” said Khiem Do, the Hong Kong-based head of multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management Ltd. “China’s central bank will have to ease further because the economy is still quite sluggish. This will continue to provide liquidity to fuel the market rally. Should there be a Greek default, there’s likely to be a negative market reaction.”

Leaders in Europe and the International Monetary Fund agreed to step up the intensity of talks over Greece. Efforts to end the impasse have become urgent as the Mediterranean nation faces a debt repayment to the IMF on Friday.

Chinese Stocks

The Shanghai Composite erased losses of as much as 0.7 percent today after posting its largest gain since January on Monday. The ChiNext index of smaller Chinese firms advanced 4.9 percent, closing at a record for a second day.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.5 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland firms listed in the city lost 0.7 percent. Both gauges have climbed more than 16 percent this year, compared with an gain of 8.9 percent on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.

India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index declined 1.6 percent on concern the nation’s third interest-rate cut this year won’t be enough to spur economic growth. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan lowered the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 7.25 percent and said he will wait to assess monsoon rains before acting again.

Lenders were the biggest drag on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index, which fell 1.7 percent. The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its record-low 2 percent benchmark rate unchanged Tuesday, as forecast by swaps traders and economists. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.3 percent.

Seoul, Singapore

South Korea’s Kospi index slid 1.1 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 1.3 percent.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.2 percent. The underlying measure rose 0.2 percent on Monday after U.S. output expanded more than forecast in May as orders rose at the fastest pace in five months, while construction spending beat estimates. The reports are the latest in a slew of data due this week that the Federal Reserve will weigh to determine when to raise interest rates.

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