Asian Stocks Fall for First Time in Three Days; Banks Decline
Asian stocks fell for the first time in three days, led by financial companies, on concern the turmoil in credit markets is hurting profits, Bloomberg reported.
St. George Bank Ltd. dropped in Sydney after posting its first profit decline in six years on higher bad debts and costs. Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Financial Group Ltd. retreated in Seoul after reporting lower net income. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest mining company, advanced after crude oil prices rose above a record $120 a barrel and copper futures gained.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index lost 0.1 percent to 498.68 as of 8:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, halting a two-day, 2 percent advance. Financial shares fell 0.7 percent, the biggest decline among the regional benchmark's 10 industry groups.
Japan's markets are closed for a holiday. Australia's S& P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.4 percent. South Korea's Kospi index, which was shut yesterday, added 0.3 percent.
U.S. stocks retreated, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index lower for the first time in three days. Macy's Inc. led retailers lower on concern record oil prices will damp consumer spending and Yahoo! Inc. tumbled the most in almost two years after Microsoft Corp. abandoned its $50 billion bid for the company.