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Asia Markets: Fresh concerns over politics drives Nikkei lower at the start of the week

Asia-Pacific stocks largely rebounded from early declines, but Japanese stocks lagged behind on fresh political concerns.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing mounting pressure over a land-sale scandal that has been hanging over Japanese markets and the government for a year. Fresh polls show Abe’s approval rating has taken a hit, while local reports suggest the issue may affect more officials.

“What’s going to happen to the finance minister and what’s going to happen to Prime Minister Abe?” said Katsunori Kitakura, a strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

The Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -0.90% closed down 0.9% as the Japanese yen USDJPY, +0.21% rose 0.25%.

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