Japanese, Australia Stock Futures Gain on Fed Expectation
Japanese and Australian stock futures rose as a drop in U.S. new home sales fueled speculation the Federal Reserve make take new steps to spur growth. Gains in shares may be limited as Citigroup Inc. raised its bet for Greece’s exit from the euro to about 90 percent.
American depositary receipts of Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), a trading company, added 0.7 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo as commodity prices rose. Those of Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604), Japan’s biggest brokerage by market value, fell 0.2 percent on a report its chief executive officer will step down amid an insider- trading scandal. ADRs of Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Asia’s No. 1 carmaker by market value, rose 0.6 percent after sales gained 34 percent in the first six months of this year.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) expiring in September closed at 8,410 in Chicago yesterday, up from 8,350 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,410 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (CRY) rose 0.2 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.4 percent in Wellington as the nation’s central bank extended a pause in its benchmark interest rate.
“Company-specific news is driving us, but the market is generally a bit more positive based on the QE3 expectation,” Matt Riordan, a portfolio manager who helps manage about $6.5 billion in Sydney at Paradice Investment Management Pty., said, referring to a third-round of quantitative easing in the U.S. “Europe is lurching and no closer to a solution.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) were little changed today. The index fell less than 0.1 percent in New York yesterday, erasing gains in the final hour of trading, after a report showed demand for new U.S. homes unexpectedly dropped in June from a two-year high.
Weaker-than-expected economic data intensified bets that the Fed is moving closer to taking new steps to spur economic growth. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said policy makers are studying options for further easing that could be deployed in case economic growth remains too feeble to produce a lasting decline in unemployment. The Federal Open Market Committee meets next week.
Traders and commodity producers may rise after the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials advanced 0.3 percent yesterday. Crude oil for September delivery rose 47 cents to $88.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Nomura’s Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe will step down as the firm seeks to resolve an insider-trading scandal, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.
Toyota is on pace to outsell General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, reclaiming its title as the world’s top-selling automaker. Toyota sales rose 34 percent in the first six months of the year to 4.97 million globally, leading GM and VW, according to the companies.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell about 12 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday amid concern China’s economy is slowing and Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will worsen. The regional benchmark index traded at 11.5 times estimated earnings as of yesterday, compared with 13 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 10.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Citigroup increased its estimate for Greece leaving the 17- nation euro currency union in the next 12 to 18 months to about 90 percent, with prolonged economic weakness and spillover for the euro area.
The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. fell 0.3 percent to 84.34 yesterday in New York.
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