Asian stocks retreat as Hong Kong shares plunge

Japan shares closed lower after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile

Australia bucked the trend as bank stocks rebounded from a six-month low in May

Australia bucked the trend as bank stocks rebounded from a six-month low in May

 

Asian stocks retreated after rising earlier Tuesday as Hong Kong stocks plunged the most in eight months.

The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index erased gains and fell 0.3 per cent. The Hang Seng Index dropped as much as 2.1 per cent before paring declines to 1.6 per cent.

Analysts attributed the slump to the selling of index futures after the measure fell below 25,500. Japan shares closed lower after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile, sending the yen higher. The yen gained after falling for two straight days.

Australia bucked the trend as bank stocks rebounded from a six-month low in May and pulled the benchmark index higher, closing 1.8 per cent higher.

The nation’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged Tuesday as it waits to see if wages will respond to a burst of hiring.