Bloomberg News

Asian Stocks Decline, Led by Japanese Shares, on Growth Concern

September 25, 2011

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index set for its lowest close since June 2010, amid concern the European sovereign-debt crisis may weaken economic growth.

Japanese machinery makers Fanuc Corp. and Komatsu Ltd. and electronics manufacturer Panasonic Corp. lost more than 2.8 percent, leading declines in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Hanjin Shipping Co., South Korea’s largest shipping line, tumbled by the daily limit of 15 percent after saying it plans to sell new shares. Nippon Electric Glass Co. sank 12 percent after lowering its profit forecast.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner warned at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington that failure to combat the Greek-led turmoil threatened “cascading default, bank runs and catastrophic risk.” Billionaire investor George Soros said “something needs to be done” to safeguard Europe’s banks because Greece may be unable to avoid default.

“There’s concern that the European debt crisis will spread,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo. “Stocks are falling as we get more concerned about a deceleration of the global economy. A sell-off in shares sensitive to the economy, such as commodity-related stocks, are a reflection of investors’ fears.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.7 percent to 110.96 at 9:39 a.m. in Tokyo, set for its lowest close in more than a year. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the measure, which has fallen more than 20 percent from a May 2 high, entering a so-called bear market on Sept. 23.

Japan’s markets were closed on Friday, when the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index dropped 2 percent. The regional gauge climbed 0.1 percent today.

--Editor: Nick Gentle

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Thomasson in Hong Kong at lthomasson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net


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