Asian stocks slipped from a one-month high after gauges of China’s manufacturing and services industries showed signs of a broadening slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
South Korean automakers tumbled amid concern a weaker yen would make Japanese peers more competitive, pushing consumer discretionary shares to the largest drop among the regional equity measure’s industry groups. Woolworths Ltd. slid the most in more than three years as sales growth missed estimates at the owner of Australia’s largest grocery chain. Fraser & Neave Ltd. slumped 4.8 percent in Singapore after a tribunal ruled that its Myanmar partner has the right to buy its stake in a joint- venture brewery.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index dropped 0.5 percent to 483.42 of 4:03 p.m. in Hong Kong, retreating from the highest close since Sept. 24. A regional measure including Japanese shares surged 3.1 percent last week, its biggest gain since April 2013, after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly boosted stimulus and the country’s $1.1 trillion pension fund increased its target allocation for equities. Asia’s biggest stock market is closed today for a holiday.
“A weaker than expected reading for Chinese manufacturing was a timely reminder that all is still not well,” said Jonathan Sudaria, a trader at London Capital Group Holdings Plc, which provides trading services in equities, currencies and commodities. “The brewing stormcloud of slowing global growth still hangs over markets.”
China’s government’s non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 53.8 last month from 54 in September. The official manufacturing PMI released Nov. 1 was at 50.8 in October, missing estimates, compared with September’s 51.1. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The economy grew 7.3 percent in the third quarter, the weakest pace in more than five years.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 0.3 percent. The Kospi index fell 0.6 percent in Seoul. Hyundai Motor Co. dropped 5.9 percent, the biggest drag on the gauge, and Kia Motors Corp. lost 5.6 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.6 percent to a record, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 percent and India’s BSE S&P Sensex Index fell 0.2 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent after the underlying gauge advanced 1.2 percent Oct. 31, closing at a record high.
The Topix index posted its biggest surge since June 2013 on Oct. 31 after the BOJ and Government Pension Investment Fund’s announcements, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average soared to the highest level since November 2007.
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