Bangkok - Most emerging-market stocks fell as Cnooc paced losses for energy shares, overshadowing gains in technology companies.
South Korea’s won led currencies lower.
Cnooc retreated for the first time in nine days in Hong Kong.
The Shanghai Composite Index slid before tomorrow’s preliminary manufacturing report.
Standard Bank sank 3.3 percent in Johannesburg as Moody’s Investors Service cut its local-currency ratings.
The won sank 0.5 percent versus the dollar.
Tencent rose 1.6 percent in Hong Kong after the Nasdaq Composite Index reached a 2000 high yesterday.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.1 percent to 1,083.34 at 9:56 am in London, poised to halt a seven-day rally.
The gauge rose to a three-year high yesterday as tensions in Ukraine and Iraq eased.
The US Federal Reserve will release minutes from its last policy meeting that may give investors more clues as to the outlook for US interest rates.
Chair Janet Yellen will address global central bankers this week.
“Most investors are waiting for the Fed minutes and Yellen’s speech to have a better view on the interest rate direction,” Jintana Mekintharanggur, director of equity investment at Manulife Asset Management, which manages about $235 million (R2.5 billion) of assets, said by phone in Bangkok.
“Emerging stocks especially Chinese equities may take a break after most shares made very strong rallies.”
Some 331 stocks fell and 294 rose in the developing-nation gauge, which has gained 8.1 percent this year and trades at 11.2 times projected 12-month earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The MSCI World Index has risen 4.4 percent in 2014 and is valued at a multiple of 14.9.
Argentina plans to pay its foreign-currency bonds locally to sidestep a US court ruling that blocked payments last month and caused the nation to default for a second time in 13 years.
Six out of 10 industry groups in the emerging-markets measure dropped, led by energy and phone companies.
Cnooc, China’s biggest offshore oil producer, retreated 1.7 percent while China Mobile fell for a second day, losing 1.2 percent, as the stock traded near its most expensive level in six years.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong slid 0.3 percent.
Refiners SK Innovation and S-Oil slumped more than 6 percent in Seoul on concern their earnings margins are narrowing on higher oil prices, according to Kim Hyung, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities.
The Kospi rose 0.1 percent, paced by gains in SK Hynix.
Tencent, Asia’s largest Internet stock, advanced for a second day.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied for a fifth day yesterday to the highest level since March 2000.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, halting a three-day increase.
HSBC and Markit Economics’ preliminary manufacturing index probably slipped to 51.5 in August from the final reading of 51.7 a month earlier, according to the median estimate of Bloomberg surveys.
Concerns about the strength of the economic recovery have grown after data last week showed the weakest credit growth since 2008 and an unexpected slowdown in industrial output.
Standard Bank Group led South African banks lower after Moody’s downgraded the local-currency ratings of the nation’s four biggest lenders following the collapse of African Bank Investments Ltd.
Massmart, South Africa’s biggest food and goods wholesaler, tumbled 7 percent after saying first-half earnings dropped.
Indian shares sank 0.4 percent after a six-day rally, while Turkey’s equity index halted a two-day gain.
Russia’s Micex Index retreated 0.1 percent, poised to end eight days of advances.
The ruble dropped for a second day.
The won fell the most in two weeks while the Philippine peso had its biggest loss since August 7.
The minutes are from the Fed’s July 29-30 meeting, when the central bank cut bond purchases by $10 billion for a sixth time, leaving it on track to end the stimulus in October.
Pakistan’s equity gauge was little changed.
Opposition leader Imran Khan led thousands of supporters past riot police to the parliament building in Islamabad, adding pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign after six days of protests.
Thailand’s SET Index added 0.3 percent, set for the highest close since June 2013 as Total Access Communication led a rally for telecommunication stocks.
Taiwan’s Taiex Index climbed 0.5 percent. - Bloomberg News