SINGAPORE: Asian stocks fell for a second day, with a regional benchmark index paring its weekly advance, as US service industries expanded less than forecast and falling commodity prices weakened the earnings outlook for exporters and raw-material producers.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index dropped 0.4% to 440.68 as of 9:17 a.m. in Hong Kong, with about three shares sliding for every two that rose. The regional gauge is heading for its first weekly advance in five weeks following moves to stimulate economic growth in Australia and amid signs manufacturing output in U.S. and China is improving.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index decreased 0.5%, while South Korea’s Kospi Index dropped 0.6%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.3%. Japanese markets are closed today for a holiday.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The gauge declined 0.8 % in New York yesterday as US service industries grew at a slower pace than projected in April.
Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s No. 1 mobile-phone maker by sales, fell 1.9% in Seoul. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, lost 1% in Sydney. Gloucester Coal Ltd. sank 2% on speculation the price of fuel used in power stations may not recover from an 18-month low.
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust slid 4.3% in Singapore after the industrial landlord raised S$298.5 million (US$240 million) by selling shares at a discount. (Bloomberg/T05/aph)