Japanese and Australian stock futures fell amid growing concern over Europe’s debt crisis after Socialist Francois Hollande was elected president of France and Greek voters flocked to anti-bailout parties.
American depositary receipts of Nissan Motor Co. (7201), a carmaker that gets almost 80 percent of its revenue overseas, sank 3.4 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Canon Inc. (7751), a camera maker that depends on Europe for almost a third of its sales, lost 2.2 percent after the euro fell against the yen, cutting the exporter’s earnings outlook. ADRs of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s No. 1 mining company, slid 1.7 percent after prices for oil and metals slipped.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in June closed at 9,150 in Chicago on May 4, down from 9,220 in Singapore. Japanese markets were closed on May 3 and 4 for national holidays. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,140 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1.2 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2 percent in Wellington.
“There’s concern that the European debt problem may get serious. The euro is being sold in the currency market and that’s negative for Japanese stocks,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Tokyo-based Monex Inc. “In the U.S., the job recovery is getting sluggish, fueling concern that may have a bad impact on consumer spending and housing markets.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) fell 1.1 percent today. The index sank 1.6 percent in New York on May 4 after a report showed payrolls climbed 115,000 in April, the smallest gain in six months and below economists’ estimates for a 160,000 advance. The jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a three-year low of 8.1 percent as people left the labor force. Concern about Europe’s debt crisis also pushed stocks lower as services and manufacturing output in the euro region shrank.
The euro fell to its lowest level against the yen in almost three months low as Socialist Hollande was elected president and Greek voters flocked to anti-bailout parties, stoking concern austerity efforts in Europe may be derailed.
The euro weakened to as low as 103.24 yen today in Tokyo, compared with 106.20 yen at the close of stock trading on May 2. The dollar also depreciated to 79.67 yen from 80.37 yen, cutting the value of some overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated.
Crude Below $100
Oil fell below $100 a barrel for the first time since February. Crude oil for June delivery sank 4 percent to $98.49 a barrel in New York on May 4, the lowest settlement since Feb. 7.
The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum fell 0.4 percent on May 4. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials slipped 1.4 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) gained 9 percent this year through May 4, compared with an 8.9 percent advance by the S&P 500 and a 3.5 percent increase by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 1.3 times book value, compared with 2.2 times for the S&P 500 and 1.4 times for the Stoxx 600, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A number below 1 means companies can be bought for less than value of their assets.
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