Asia Stocks Fall as Japan Awaits Stimulus, Material Shares Drop

Asian stocks fell for the first time in seven days, retreating from an almost one-year high, as Japanese shares slid ahead of the announcement of a $ 274 billion stimulus package and a slump in oil weighed on energy and commodity companies.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.4 percent to 136.85 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo after closing Monday at the highest since Aug. 17. Material and industrial shares led losses on the regional gauge, while energy producers also retreated, after crude sank into a bear market and sank below $ 40 a barrel for the first time since April on Monday. Japan’s Topix index lost 0.8 percent as investors weighed earnings and the government was poised to give details on steps to bolster an economy threatened by a strengthening yen and weak consumer spending.

Asian equities have extended their July rally, which was the best month since March, on the prospect of more global stimulus. The regional gauge has now shrugged off the fallout of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and is up 3.7 percent for the year. Still, oil’s fall of more than 20 percent from its June high is muddying the waters and raising concerns about the recovery of the global economy.

Source: Bloomberg

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