HONG KONG: Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark regional index headed for its lowest close in five months, as Japan’s industrial production trailed estimates and concern mounted about Greece’s future in the euro.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co slumped 3.8% in Tokyo. Samsung Electronics Co., which gets a fifth of its sales from Europe, fell 2% in Seoul.
Alumina Ltd slumped 5% in Sydney after metal prices fell. James Hardie Industries SE, a seller of home siding that counts the U.S. as its biggest market, retreated 1.7% after U.S. home sales fell.
“The market is genuinely worried about the potential disorderly default and exit by Greece and what that means in terms of contagion risks,” said Prasad Patkar, who helps manage about $1 billion at Platypus Asset Management Ltd. in Sydney.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.2% to 111.62 as of 9:35 a.m. in Tokyo, with about 10 stocks falling for each that rose. The gauge is headed for its lowest close since Dec. 20. Shares fell before markets in Hong Kong and China open.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 1.1% and South Korea’s Kospi Index slid 1.4%. (Bloomberg/tw)