Asia Stocks Hold Near 3-Month Low as Japan Shares Decline

Asian stocks held near the lowest level in more than three months as the yen strengthened, dragging Japanese shares lower. Chinese shares rose, led by brokerage firms after a jump in new trading accounts.

Yokohama Rubber Co. lost 3.5 percent in Tokyo after Citigroup Inc. cut its recommendation on the tiremaker’s shares. Citic Securities Co. climbed 3.4 percent and Changjiang Securities Co. jumped by 10 percent in Shanghai. Megaworld Corp. soared 8.3 percent, with the developer leading gains on the regional index, as the Philippine government sold land in Greater Manila at higher-than-expected prices.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 143.27 at 4:05 p.m. in Hong Kong. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for a third day yesterday after a government crackdown on tax-saving mergers, a slowdown in manufacturing growth in the euro area and as conflict in the Middle East escalated. Asian shares slid 4 percent from a six-year high in July amid concern Chinese economic growth is slowing.

“We are seeing uncertainty,” said David Gaud, a Hong Kong-based senior portfolio manager at Edmond de Rothschild Group, which oversees about $179 billion. “Volatility is rising. We are probably going to see more of a correction in the near term.”

Japan’s Topix index slid 0.4 percent as trading resumed from yesterday’s holiday. The yen strengthened 0.3 percent to 108.57 per dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.7 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.3 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland firms listed in the city gained 1.4 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 1.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.3 percent.

U.S. Shares

Plans by the U.S. to limit tax-driven deals sparked falls in shares of European and U.S. drugmakers with mergers pending, while U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria fueled gains in gold and Treasuries.

A preliminary purchasing managers’ index from Markit Economics showed manufacturing in the euro area slipped to 50.5 this month from 50.7 in August. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey had forecast a reading of 50.6. Readings above 50 indicate growth.

Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent today. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index surged 9.1 percent yesterday to the highest level since Aug. 8.

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