Sydney - Asian stocks headed for the biggest weekly drop since September as investors awaited data on Chinese retail sales and industrial production.
Chinese shares slid after a report billionaire Guo Guangchang was missing added to concerns that slowing economic growth, a weakening yuan and an anti- corruption campaign is clouding the outlook for corporate profits.
In a choppy final trading day of the week, Japanese shares rallied, while equities in China retreated. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.3% to 129.38 as of 08:07, on course for a 2% decline this week, a third weekly drop.
The gauge is down 6.2% this year as a rout in commodities and slowing Chinese growth weighs on the earnings prospects of companies from Sydney to Tokyo, before a Federal Reserve decision next week on whether to raise US interest rates.
“Asian markets had a mixed day to end the week,” said Angus Nicholson, Melbourne-based market analyst at IG.