Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index heading for its biggest weekly decline in more than a month, as reports on industrial output in South Korea and Japan add to signs of slowing economic growth and on speculation Europe’s debt crisis is worsening.
Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. declined more than 3 per cent in Tokyo as the steelmakers will book a combined 240 billion yen ($3.1 billion) ahead of their October merger. Sharp Corp. sank 8.4 per cent after Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group said talks about investing in the Japanese electronics maker haven’t reached a final stage. LG Display Co., a supplier to Apple Inc.’s iPhones, lost 1.1 per cent in Seoul on concern Apple’s shipments may be delayed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.3 per cent to 117.92 as of 9:40 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge is heading for a 2 per cent decline this week, the most since the period ended July 13.
“The U.S. economy has stopped deteriorating, but it’s far away from having a strong rebound,” said Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. “Uncertainty is increasing in Europe, dragging down markets.”
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.7 per cent. The nation’s industrial output unexpectedly fell last month, adding to signs that faltering global demand is undermining the economy’s recovery. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2 per cent.
South Korea’s Kospi Index lost 0.1 per cent. The country’s industrial production fell for a second month in July as Europe’s debt crisis crimped demand for exports. Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to open.
–Editor: John McCluskey
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Burgos in Singapore at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at [email protected] -0- Aug/31/2012 00:04 GMT
-0- Aug/31/2012 00:05 GMT