Asian Stocks Little Changed After U.S. Confidence Report

Asian stocks were little changed, after the biggest monthly advance since January 2012 for the regional benchmark index, after U.S. consumer confidence slumped in September to a four-month low.

Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier of toys and clothes to retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., slipped 1.2 percent in Hong Kong. PT Bank Mandiri sank 4.1 percent, pacing declines among Indonesian lenders on concern the central bank will raise interest rates. Tokyo Electron Ltd. surged 13 percent after Applied Materials Inc., the largest chipmaking-equipment supplier, agreed to buy the company for $9.4 billion in stock.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 140.48 as of 6:54 p.m. in Hong Kong, with about one share declining for each that rose. The gauge has climbed 7.9 percent so far in September, on course for the best month since January 2012, after the Federal Reserve maintained the pace of its stimulus and data showed China’s economic growth is stabilizing.

“U.S. consumer confidence was down, albeit slightly, but enough to rattle already frayed nerves,” Andrew May, a trader at CMC Markets in Auckland, said in an e-mail. “As we’re in the last week and month of the quarter, expect to see traders continue to take a little more profit off the table as they reposition themselves.”

Japan’s Topix index index slid 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.5 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex Index retreated 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.1 percent, while the Jakarta Composite Index dropped 1.2 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.8 percent, and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 1.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.1 percent.

Relative Value

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at 13.7 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.4 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 14.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Futures on the S&P 500 declined 0.2 percent. The gauge fell 0.3 percent yesterday amid concerns over U.S. budget talks and economic growth as investors weighed prospects for easing tensions in the Middle East. The index has declined 1.6 percent over four days after reaching an all-time high of 1,725.52 as the Fed unexpectedly refrained from cutting bond purchases.

The Conference Board’s index of U.S. consumer confidence slumped in September to a four-month low and a separate report showed a gauge of manufacturing in the region covered by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond shrank in September.

Exporters Decline

Li & Fung fell 1.2 percent to HK$11.78 in Hong Kong. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips, dropped 1.9 percent to NT$103 in Taipei. LG Display Co., the world’s second-biggest maker of flat panels, sank 2.4 percent to 26,800 won in Seoul.

Indonesian lenders fell on concern a weaker rupiah will spur the central bank to increase borrowing costs, said Syaiful Adrian, an analyst at PT Ciptadana Securities in Jakarta.

Bank Mandiri, the nation’s second-largest lender by market value, sank 4.1 percent to 8,250 rupiah. PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia slipped 3.2 percent to 7,550 rupiah.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., the world’s second-biggest bourse by market value, slipped 1.2 percent to HK$126.40. Talks with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s largest e-commerce company, for an initial public offering broke down after it sought partnership control of board nominations, and the company is moving toward a U.S. listing, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Tokyo Electron

Tokyo Electron soared 13 percent to 5,490 yen after the acquisition by Applied Materials was announced. Shareholders will get 3.25 shares for each held in the Tokyo-based company, and Chief Executive Officer Tetsuro Higashi will become chairman of the new entity.

Japan’s Topix climbed 41 percent this year, the most among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan can lead the country out of deflation through unprecedented monetary easing.

David Jones Ltd., Australia’s second-largest department store chain, climbed 4.9 percent to A$2.99 in Sydney as profit topped analyst estimates.

Casinos climbed on expectations Macau will post record gaming receipts next month. Revenue may rise 17 percent to 32 billion patacas ($4 billion) from a year earlier, Deutsche Bank analyst Karen Tang wrote in a note. Rooms in 14 of 17 hotels surveyed by the brokerage are fully booked Oct. 3-5.

SJM Holdings Ltd., Asia’s biggest casino operator, climbed 2.9 percent to HK$21.30 in Hong Kong. Sands China Ltd., the Macau gambling resort operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, increased 1.8 percent to HK$48.60.

Envipro Holdings Inc., a recycler of scrap metals and other industrial waste, surged 26 percent from its initial public offering price to 881 yen on its trading debut in Tokyo.

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