China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. slid 1.3 percent in Hong Kong after Asia’s biggest refiner posted first-quarter profit that missed analyst estimates. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s No. 1 gold producer, slipped 2.1 percent in Sydney as the price of the bullion headed for a second day of decline. Posco climbed 2.7 percent after the Korean Economic Daily said South Korea’s largest steelmaker is considering the sale of Daewoo International Corp.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index fell 0.2 percent to 475.08 in Hong Kong, reversing a gain of 0.1 percent. Major U.S. indexes recovered in the last hour of trading yesterday, paring losses sparked by the U.S. and European Union levying new sanctions against Russia, amid optimism over mergers and acquisitions. Pfizer Inc. added 4.2 percent after proposing to buy AstraZeneca Plc for about 58.8 billion pounds ($98.7 billion).