Asian stocks fell for a third day, trimming the biggest monthly advance on the regional benchmark index since January 2012, as industrial and health care companies retreated.
Nitto Denko Corp. (6988) slumped 11 percent as BNP Paribas SA advised selling shares of the materials manufacturer, saying the surge since the announcement of its inclusion in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average was overdone. Advantest Corp. retreated 4.2 percent after the maker of semiconductor testers forecast a loss. Retail supplier Li & Fung Ltd. (494) slid 3.9 percent after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut orders to address swelling inventory.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.3 percent to 139.97 as of 11:34 a.m. in Hong Kong. The measure climbed 7.8 percent this month through yesterday, touching a four-month high on Sept. 23, after the Federal Reserve maintained the pace of its stimulus and data showed China’s economic growth is stabilizing.
“If some of the froth comes out of the market then I will be adding to positions, but in the short term the markets are vulnerable,” Nader Naeimi, the Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation who helps manage more than $130 billion at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., said by phone. “The market has gone up a long way on the back of the liquidity expansion and we now need to see some real improvement in earnings.”
Japan’s Topix index was little changed. Some 975 of the 1,745 companies in the gauge are trading without the right to the current dividend today. Advantest lost 4.2 percent to 1,185 yen and Nitto Denko sank 11 percent to 6,670 yen. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.6 percent as the yen weakened.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 0.5 percent, Taiwan’s Taiex Index lost 0.9 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite declined 1.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.6 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent. The measure yesterday completed its longest slump this year as Wal-Mart retreated and concern grew that a political showdown over government spending poses a threat to growth in the world’s largest economy.
Japan’s Topix climbed 9.5 percent this month through yesterday, extending this year’s surge to 41 percent, the most among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan can lead the country out of deflation through unprecedented monetary easing.
Li & Fung, which gets 12 percent of sales from Wal-Mart, declined 3.9 percent to HK$11.32. Wal-Mart is cutting orders it places with suppliers this quarter and next to address rising inventory the company flagged in last month’s earnings report.
Among shares that climbed, Finsoft Corp., a trading-software maker, surged 536 percent on its trading debut in Hong Kong.