The Star Early Edition - - MARKETS -

STOCKS sank yes­ter­day, with the re­gional bench­mark in­dex post­ing its big­gest drop in more than a month, as Ja­pan’s econ­omy un­ex­pect­edly fell into re­ces­sion and Hong Kong shares slid as a trad­ing link with Shang­hai started.

The MSCI Asia Pa­cific in­dex slipped 1.3 per­cent to 139.87 points at 7.04pm in Hong Kong. Ja­pan’s Topix in­dex sank 2.5 per­cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng in­dex de­creased 1.2 per­cent.

Toy­ota lost 2.1 per­cent in Tokyo. Hong Kong Ex­changes & Clear­ing slumped 4.5 per­cent as a quota for main­land in­vestors to buy the city’s stocks through the Shang­hai ex­change link went largely un­filled. China Con­struc­tion Bank slid 1.7 per­cent after the na­tion’s bad loans jumped the most since 2005.

“This is quite a dis­ap­point­ment,” Ryan Huang, a strate­gist at IG in Sin­ga­pore, said. “There’s def­i­nitely a case for [Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo] Abe to push back the sec­ond sales tax in­crease. We’ll prob­a­bly get more stim­u­lus out of Ja­pan.” – Bloomberg

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