Asian stocks fell for the first time in five days after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated from a record and the yen gained against the dollar.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent to 141.06 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. More than $3 trillion has been added to the value of global equities in the past four weeks amid signs the U.S. economy is weathering the end of bond purchases, and as central banks in Europe and Asia move to bolster growth. China reports on retail sales and industrial output today, while European GDP data are due tomorrow.
“People are looking for the next story, whether it’s M&A activity or some good economic numbers,” Tony Farnham, Sydney-based strategist at Paterson Securities Ltd. “Investors are looking for a bit more clarity on how Europe is going to go about its version of quantitative easing. Valuations, particularly in the U.S., are looking a little bit pricey.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent. The equity benchmark fell 0.1 percent yesterday, halting a five-day rally that brought the gauge to all-time high, as gains among phone and consumer stocks offset losses in utilities. The measure traded at 17 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 14 for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.
The Topix index swung between gains and losses today after the yen climbed 0.3 percent against the dollar yesterday. The gauge is heading for a fourth weekly advance amid reports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will delay an increase to the sales tax and call a snap election.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 0.4 percent. Markets in China, Hong Kong and South Korea have yet to open.