Asian stocks observed a steep fall on the fourth consecutive day as consumer confidence in the U.S. seems to have declined unexpectedly and Hong Kong seems to be on the verge of bigger protests.
MSCI’s Index of Asia and Pacific declined by 0.1% to 140.29 at 9:02 a.m. in Japan yesterday, after retreating to a four-month low mark. This was the biggest decline for the index in more than two years. The decline resulted from concerns regarding the slowing Chinese economy and the fears that the Federal Reserve may increase U.S. borrowing costs sooner than expected.
Nader Naeimi, the head of Sydney-based AMP Capital Investors Ltd., a dynamic asset allocation company managing about U.S. $124 billion, said that the growing concern about the situation in Hong Kong and the worries about U.S.’s stand regarding borrowing costs has led to this decline.
Hong Kong has observed pro-democracy protests for the past six days as protestors demanded that the country’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying resigns from his post and free elections be held.
Early morning, thousands of protestors blocked key areas of the country, undiscouraged by heavy rains overnight. Many demonstrators have also moved to the place where Leung is scheduled on attending a ceremony marking the 65th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
Japan’s Topix index sank 0.2%, South Korea’s Kospi index declined by 0.5%, New Zealand’s NZX index slipped 0.1%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index declined by 0.3%. Hong Kong’s index will remain closed today and tomorrow due to holidays and Mainland China’s index will remain shut through October 7.