Asian Stocks Fall for a Second Day Amid North Korea Missile Risk

Updated on

North Korea Crisis Continues to Escalate

Asian stocks declined for a second day as investors turned cautious after reports that North Korea may be preparing a missile launch.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.1 percent to 172.13 as of 4:45 p.m. in Hong Kong, led by material stocks such as BHP Billiton Ltd. Japanese stocks dropped as the yen unwound gains spurred by North Korea reports. Stocks in South Korea gained.

“This new development on North Korea is tilting investors’ sentiment toward the negative side,” said John Teja, a director at PT Ciptadana Sekuritas Asia. “People are using this as an excuse to take some profit off the table as equities are doing quite well this year.”

Asian equities are still trading near record levels after reaching a closing high milestone on Friday. The regional benchmark has climbed 27 percent this year, outperforming counterparts in the U.S. and in Europe, and is set for an unprecedented 11th consecutive monthly advance.

Summary

  • Topix index -0.3%, Nikkei 225 little changed
  • Hang Seng Index little changed, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.6%, Shanghai Composite Index +0.3%, Shenzhen Composite +1.4%
  • Taiex -0.4%, 
  • Kospi +0.3%, Kospi 200 +0.4%
  • S&P/ASX 200 -0.1%, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 -0.4%
  • Sensex index -0.2%, Nifty index -0.2%
  • Straits Times Index +0.1%, Malaysia’s KLCI -0.2%, Thailand’s SET +0.6%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.2%, Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index -0.8%, Vietnam’s VN-Index +0.3%
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