Bloomberg News

Asian Stocks Drop as Japan Sentiment Sinks Amid Europe Pessimism

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks fell for a third day after a survey showed sentiment among Japan’s largest manufacturers deteriorated and as growing funding stress in Italy stoked concern Europe is losing its fight to contain the debt crisis.

Sony Corp., the maker of Bravia televisions that gets 21 percent of sales from Europe, slipped 1.7 percent in Tokyo after the euro touched a two-month low against the yen, reducing the value of sales from the region. Komatsu Ltd., a maker of construction equipment, sank 3 percent after the Bank of Japan released results of its Tankan survey. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company and Australia’s No. 1 oil producer, declined 1.7 percent in Sydney after oil and copper prices tumbled yesterday.

“There’s no visible progress on Europe’s debt crisis,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $600 million in Tokyo at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. “There are no events that may buoy the mood, and there’s no guarantee that the euro will stop weakening. The euro may drop below 100 yen, compounding the situation for export-related stocks.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.6 percent to 112.65 as of 9:28 a.m. in Tokyo, with about four shares falling for each that rose. The gauge, which tumbled 16 percent from June 30 through yesterday, extended losses this week after Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings warned that Europe faces lower credit ratings as it struggles to contain its debt crisis.

--With assistance from Yoshiaki Nohara. Editor: Nick Gentle

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Burgos in Singapore at jburgos4@bloomberg.net; Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at skawano1@bloomberg.net.

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


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