Asian Stocks Retreat From Two-Month High as Chinese Growth Slows

Asian stocks slipped from an almost two-month high as raw-material producers led declines after China reported its slowest quarterly economic growth since 2009.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, slipped 1.2 percent in Sydney. Sands China Ltd. slumped 6.4 percent in Hong Kong, following a two-week rally, after Daiwa Securities Group Inc. cut the Macau casino operator’s rating, saying it may be unable to pay dividends this year on liquidity constraints. Asahi Kasei Corp. dropped 8.5 percent in Tokyo, extending last week’s decline, after a report the company and partner Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. may be penalized for violating building laws.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.3 percent to 134.17 as of 4:41 p.m. in Hong Kong after closing on Friday at the highest since Aug. 19. China reported gross domestic product rose 6.9 percent in the three months through September from a year earlier, beating economists’ estimates for 6.8 percent growth while falling short of the government’s goal of about 7 percent. A worldwide stock rally in October restored more than $4 trillion to the value of the global equity market amid optimism Chinese policy makers will boost measures to support the economy, and growing expectations the Federal Reserve will put off raising U.S. interest rates until next year.

“The Chinese economy has been slowing but it’s unlikely to have a hard landing as the services sector is still growing,” Khiem Do, Hong Kong-based head of multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management, which oversees about $41 billion, said by phone. “The market is consolidating after this month’s rally. Shares aren’t as cheap as they were a month ago.”

China Resilience

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent, erasing earlier gains of as much as 1 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in Hong Kong climbed 0.5 percent, while the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index closed little changed.

China’s economic resilience comes as a stronger services sector and robust consumption help offset weakness in manufacturing and exports. Other reports Monday showed the nation’s industrial output in September rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with economists’ median estimate of 6 percent. Retail sales increased 10.9 percent, versus a 10.8 percent gain forecast for the month. The government has cut interest rates five times since November and boosted infrastructure spending in recent months to keep growth from sliding too far below this year’s target.

Japan’s Topix index dropped 0.7 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index both closed little changed. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.3 percent, as did Taiwan’s Taiex index.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The underlying gauge advanced 0.5 percent on Friday as General Electric Co. rose to a seven-year high amid better-than-estimated quarterly profits.

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