Stocks faltered as worries about a delay in US fiscal stimulus discouraged some investors from taking on risk. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.24%, although shares in Japan rose 0.07%.
South Korean stocks fell 1.27% after authorities reported the largest number of new coronavirus cases since March.
Chinese shares erased early gains and fell 0.1% as a slower-than-expected rise in industrial production and a surprise fall in retail sales weighed on investor sentiment.
Further equity gains are likely to be limited as investors await progress in negotiations over US economic stimulus.
The mood was cautious in Asia after Chinese retail sales unexpectedly fell in July, suggesting domestic demand is still struggling after the coronavirus outbreak.
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