Asian stocks outside Japan fell on concern the impasse over the U.S. debt limit may lead to a default and after the International Monetary Fund cut its global outlook. Japanese shares reversed losses after the yen weakened.
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. fell 3.6 percent in Hong Kong after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sold the carmaker’s shares at a discount, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg. Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest auto manufacturer, gained 2.6 percent after falling as much as 0.7 percent. WorleyParsons Ltd. lost 3.8 percent in Sydney after the mining-services provider said it expects fiscal first-half earnings to decline. SoftBank Corp. (9984) slumped 5.1 percent in Tokyo after Citigroup Inc. cut the mobile carrier’s equity rating.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index slid 0.3 percent to 465.39 as of 12:50 p.m. in Tokyo, while the broader regional gauge was little changed at 138.51. Japan’s Topix index rose 1 percent, erasing a 1 percent loss. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slumped 1.2 percent yesterday after President Barack Obama said the U.S. economy risks a “very deep recession” should Congress not raise the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit.
“Markets don’t like indecision and bickering by the government,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney who manages about $550 million. “Political parties are prepared to use these agreements as a bargaining chip. You certainly see a point of nervousness and concern for investors.”
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.5 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent. South Korea’s markets are closed today for a holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) fell 0.6 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.4 percent, and Taiwan’s Taiex index dropped 0.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1 percent.