Asian stocks fell in their longest losing streak in 4.5 years as investors weighed a fresh clash between Europe and Russia and as Chinese lending data suggested the region’s biggest source of economic growth is losing steam.
The benchmark index, MSCI Asia Pacific (MXAP), dropped 0.2 percent to 145.97, falling for the seventh consecutive day, as of the top of Friday morning Eastern Time.
The MXAP has gained 12 percent from a February low, lifting valuations to 13.7 times estimated earnings, compared to 16.7 on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 15.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
The European Union slapped a new round of sanctions on Russia's economy Friday, while a recent report showed China’s broadest measure of credit fell short of economists’ estimates in August, complicating the government’s strategy to meet its economic growth goal. The property market and manufacturing sectors are in a slump.