Asian shares declined for a third day on Monday amid prospects Russia will be subject to new sanctions as tensions over Ukraine intensify.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.5% to 137 as of 10:49 a.m. in Tokyo, with seven of 10 industry groups falling. Japan’s Topix index fell 1.1%. The nation’s retail sales rose 6.3% in March from February, beating analyst estimates.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index both lost 0.5%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.3% and Taiwan’s Taiex sank 0.8%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.1%.
Profits at Chinese industrial companies rose 10.1% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to a report from the country’s statistics bureau released yesterday.
China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, due 1 May, is expected to come in at 50.5 for April, up from 50.3 for March, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The US and European Union will impose new sanctions on Russia as soon as today as the crisis in Ukraine escalates amid the detention of international observers by pro-Russian separatists.
In corporate news, Honda Motor Co. sank 4.6% as Japan’s third-largest carmaker forecast a full-year profit that missed analysts’ estimates.
Japan Display Inc. tumbled 13% after the supplier of screens for Apple Inc.’s iPhones posted operating profit and sales that fell short of expectations.
Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s largest gold producer, climbed 5.2% as the bullion traded near a two-week high.