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Asian stocks slide as Japan reopens

[SINGAPORE] Asian stocks dropped, with the regional benchmark index retreating from a seven-week high, as Japanese shares slipped after a holiday and investors awaited China's trade data.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 per cent to 133.76 as of 9.00 am in Tokyo after closing Monday at the highest since Aug 20. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose for a fourth day on Monday as speculation global central bankers will maintain stimulus, at least through the end of the year, underpins a recovery in equities. Data due Tuesday is expected to show ongoing contraction in Chinese exports and imports, potentially reigniting the concerns that fueled last quarter's volatility or stoking bets on further easing.

"The market is trying to digest the recent rally," Shane Oliver, Sydney-based global strategist at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages US$112 billion, said on Bloomberg Television. "The broad picture is still one of ongoing recovery for share markets. We certainly will see more stimulus out of China." Japan's Topix index lost 0.3 per cent. South Korea's Kospi index was little changed. New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.3 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.2 per cent.