Tokyo: Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index headed for its biggest monthly drop since the 2008 financial crisis, as China damped optimism for large-scale stimulus, adding to global growth concerns after Spain's credit rating was downgraded.

Samsung Electronics Co, an exporter of consumer electronics that gets 47 per cent of its sales in Europe and China, lost 1 per cent in Seoul.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd slid 1.7 per cent. Renesas Electronics Corp, the world's biggest maker of microcontrollers for cars, surged 27 per cent in Tokyo after short-selling of its shares was restricted.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.7 per cent to 112.90 as of 7.35pm in Tokyo with about two shares dropping for each that rose. The gauge has lost 9.9 per cent this month amid signs of a deeper slowdown in China and as European leaders pressure Greece to observe bailout terms before June elections.

Significant risk

"Over the past 12 months, the Western world has been trying to find holes in the China growth story," said Khiem Do, Hong Kong-based head of Asian multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management (Asia) Ltd, which oversees about $8 billion (29.4 billion).

"Investors are still not convinced about the debt crisis in Europe and that's being reflected in higher bond yields in Spain and Italy. I think that's the most significant risk from a global investor view point."

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.3 per cent with volume 4.7 per cent below the 30-day average, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5 per cent. Taiwan's Taiex Index slid 1.1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 1.9 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 per cent.

Futures on the Standard and Poor's 500 Index fell 0.8 per cent yesterday.

China lenders dropped in Hong Kong on a report the nation has no plan to introduce stimulus measures on the scale deployed during the global financial crisis to counter this year's economic slowdown, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday without attributing the information.

"The Chinese authorities do see downside risk to growth this year," said Dwyfor Evans, a Hong-Kong based macro strategist at State Street Global Markets, part of State Street Corp.

"They will continue addressing the slowdown, but it's hard to assess if it will be enough."