Asian Stocks Fall as China Stimulus Risk Hurts Commodity Stocks

  • Energy, material gauges are biggest decliners in Asian trading
  • BHP warns fading stimulus from China may hurt iron ore prices

Asian equities fell after the world’s biggest mining company warned a slowdown in the impact of China stimulus may lead to lower iron ore prices. Energy stocks were hit by the biggest drop in crude in more than a year.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.4 percent as of 3:59 p.m. in Hong Kong as BHP Billiton Ltd. led the drop among mining companies. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. fell as oil held losses after record U.S. stockpiles raised concerns about a global glut. China February producer prices surged the most since 2008, while consumer inflation missed estimates.

“A surge in China PPI probably led the market to believe that Chinese authorities will shift toward a neutral or even tightening monetary policy stance,” Margaret Yang, an analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said by email.

Iron ore futures in Dalian are headed for the lowest close since Feb. 9 after BHP Chief Financial Officer Peter Beaven said fading stimulus measures in China could bring “much lower” iron ore prices.

SUMMARY

  • Japan’s Topix +0.3%, Nikkei +0.3%
    • Yen -0.2% to 114.52 per dollar, declining a third day
  • Hang Seng Index -1.1%, HSCEI -1.8%, Shanghai Composite -0.7%
    • China Petroleum & Chemical -3.6%, CNOOC -1.9%
  • ASX 200 -0.3%
    • BHP Billiton -5%
  • South Korea’s Kospi -0.2%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index -0.8%, Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index +0.1%, Malaysia’s KLCI Index -0.4%, Philippines PSEi Index little changed, Thailand’s SET Index -0.2%, India’s Sensex -0.1%
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