“Asian stocks declined from the highest level since June 2008, led lower by Japanese shares as the yen strengthened and data signaled a slowdown in global business activity. Oil and copper dropped.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.3 percent as of 11:37 a.m. in Tokyo as Japan’s Topix Index slid 0.5 percent after posting its best month since 1999. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed. The yen climbed 0.1 percent to 97.36 per dollar. Crude oil declined 0.4 percent, and copper lost 0.4 percent after the biggest monthly loss since May.
An Australian manufacturing gauge slumped to a four-year low as currency strength weighed on exporters, while China’sPurchasing Managers’ Index expanded at a slower pace, according to reports today. U.S. private employers added the fewest jobs in six months, economists forecast, after business activity unexpectedly shrank in April for the first time in more than three years.
“There is little doubt that risks to global economic growth for 2013 are tilted to the downside,” said Matthew Sherwood, the Sydney-based head of investment market research at Perpetual Ltd., which manages about $25 billion. “Earnings growth after several years of very subdued performance still seems a bit of a stretch.” …”Twitter