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Japanese Stock Futures Advance as U.S., German Economic Data Boost Outlook

Japanese stock futures gained after reports bolstered optimism in the U.S. and German economies and borrowing costs for Spain and Greece decreased at auctions.

American depositary receipts of Canon Inc. (7751), a Japanese camera maker that gets more than 80 percent of its revenue overseas, rose 0.2 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Those of Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), Japan’s biggest commodities trader by revenue, climbed 0.7 percent after prices of oil and metals increased. Resource companies led Australian stocks lower.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 8,475 in Chicago yesterday, up from 8,470 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,480 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.4 percent in Wellington.

“Nothing too bad was seen in the economic data of the U.S. and Germany,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “Concern about a slowdown in the global economy is receding.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent today. The index rose 0.4 percent in New York yesterday as a report showed manufacturing in the New York region expanded in January at the fastest pace in nine months. German investor confidence rose the most on record in January. Spanish borrowing costs fell at an auction as investors ignored S&P credit-rating downgrades.

Greece sold 1.625 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of 13-week bills with a yield of 4.64 percent, down from 4.68 percent on Dec. 20. Spain auctioned 12-month debt at an average yield of 2.049 percent, compared with 4.05 percent at a sale on Dec. 13.

Euro Rises

The euro advanced to as much as 98.33 yen last night in Tokyo after falling to 97.04 yen on Jan. 16, its lowest level since December 2000.

Crude oil for February delivery gained 2 percent to settle at $100.71 a barrel yesterday in New York, rising for the first time in four days. The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six metals including copper and aluminum increased 1.9 percent to the highest level since Oct. 28.

Chinese stocks in the U.S. rose for the first time in four trading days amid speculation policy makers may ease lending curbs after the world’s second-largest economy expanded at the slowest pace in 10 quarters. The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index of the most-actively traded Chinese equities gained 1.1 percent to 100.68 yesterday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) advanced 3.5 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 2.9 percent gain by the S&P 500 and a 3.6 percent increase by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12.4 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.3 times for the S&P 500 and 10.2 times for the Stoxx 600.

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at nkuboyama@bloomberg.net; Toshiro Hasegawa in Tokyo at thasegawa6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John McCluskey at j.mccluskey@bloomberg.net

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