Japanese and Australian stock futures rose after manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly grew in April at the fastest pace in 10 months, boosting the outlook for Asian exporters.
American depositary receipts of Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s No. 1 consumer electronics exporter, rose 1.3 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Canon Inc. (7751), Japan’s biggest camera maker that depends on the Americas for 27 percent of sales, gained 0.3 percent. Shares of News Corp. (NWS) may be active in Sydney after a British parliamentary committee said Chairman Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to lead a major international company.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in June closed at 9,375 in Chicago yesterday, up from 9,340 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,390 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.3 percent in Wellington.
“There’s no doubt that this data is moving in the right direction,” said Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management in Sydney, who manages more than $350 million. “It’s a good indication of the health of the U.S. economy.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index advanced 0.6 percent in New York yesterday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 0.5 percent to close at the highest level since December 2007.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 54.8 in April from 53.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona- based group’s report showed yesterday. Readings greater than 50 signal manufacturing is expanding. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a drop to 53.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) rose 9.2 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 11.8 percent gain by the S&P 500 and a 5.7 percent advance by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12.6 times estimated earnings on average, compared with a multiple of 13.4 times for the S&P 500 and 10.8 times for the Stoxx 600.
The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S. advanced 1.1 percent to 104.65 in New York, bringing its gain for this week to 0.4 percent.
The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum rose 0.1 percent yesterday. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials advanced 0.7 percent.
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