Asia Stocks Extend Losses as Strong Dollar Hurts Materials Firms

Updated on
  • AMP Capital’s Naeimi sees opportunity to buy the dip
  • Chinese property firms advance on Feb. sales estimates

Asian shares dropped for a third day, with materials companies tumbling, as the dollar rose ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s second congressional appearance this week on Thursday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.7 percent to 176.08 as of 4:31 p.m. in Hong Kong, set to close at a two-week low. Japan’s Topix fell 1.6 percent, the most since February 9. Markets in South Korea and Thailand were closed for a holiday. Concern about a faster pace of U.S. rate hikes weighed on equities, providing a good opportunity to buy at lower prices, said Nader Naeimi, head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., who oversees about $120 billion.

“Markets seem to be keen to force Mr. Powell’s hand into the FOMC meeting,” which will happen later this month, Naeimi said. “Another leg down in equities would be a great entry point in EM” stocks.

The Asian benchmark’s material sub-gauge dropped 1.6 percent, the most among all industry groups. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. slumped 4.4 percent in Tokyo, the most in three weeks. Australia’s Orica Ltd. lost 3.5 percent after the company said it expects impairment charges of A$300 million ($232 million).

Chinese property shares offset some of the region’s losses after research house CRIC forecast strong February home sales for large developers. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. jumped 4.3 percent in Hong Kong.


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