Asian Stocks Drop as Energy, Material Producers Fall on Oil

Most Asian stocks fell, paced by a slide in energy and material producers after crude oil held its biggest loss in three weeks following OPEC’s move to prolong supply cuts.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.1 percent to 152.69 as of 3:23 p.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix slipped 0.6 percent as Inpex Corp. and other oil explorers slumped after crude in New York slid 4.8 percent on Thursday. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. dropped, leading declines in Australia’s equity index. Samsung Electronics and LG Display Co. advanced, lifting South Korea’s Kospi index to another record.

OPEC and its allies agreed to prolong their accord through March, but provided no option set out to continue curbs further into 2018. Oil futures added 0.5 percent in New York. The U.S. is scheduled to release gross domestic product figures later Friday, a key indicator for global growth prospects.

“Lower oil prices will pressure energy and commodity stocks for some time,” said Tawatchai Asawapornchai, deputy managing director at ASL Securities Co. in Bangkok. “Non-energy stocks should still draw some investors’ interest on most Asian countries’ continued economic recovery.”

Summary

  • Hong Kong HSI little changed, HSCEI and China’s SHCOMP +0.1%, Taiex -0.1%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 -0.7%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 +0.1%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index -0.3%; India’s Sensex +0.8%
  • Indonesia’s JCI +0.2%, Philippine Stock Exchange Index -0.1%, Malaysia’s KLCI Index -0.2%, Vietnam’s VN Index +0.2%, Thailand’s SET Index little changed
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