Japanese Stock Futures Decline on European Growth Concern, Yen

Japanese stock futures fell after economists in a European Central Bank survey cut a regional growth forecast, sending the euro lower against the yen and damping the earnings outlook for Asia’s exporters.

American depository receipts of Canon Inc. (7751), a camera maker that depends on Europe for almost a third of its sales, fell 0.6 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Sony Corp gained 2.1 percent after Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics offered to buy the remaining shares of online shopping site So-net Entertainment Corp. ADRs of Telstra Corp. lost 0.9 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG cut its rating on Australia’s biggest phone company.

Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 8,955 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 8,970 in Osaka. They were bid in pre-market trading at 8,960 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures rose 0.1 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1 percent in Wellington.

“The euro’s weakness is likely to get priced into stocks today,” said Kenichi Hirano, general manager and strategist at Tachibana Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Investors won’t become bullish until the currency market settles down.”

The euro slid versus most major peers after economists in a European Central Bank survey cut their 2013 growth forecast to 0.6 percent from 1 percent. The 17-nation currency fell to as low as 96.33 yen last night in Tokyo, compared with 97.11 at the close of stock trading yesterday. A weaker euro cuts the value of some income for Japan’s exporters.

Jobless Claims

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) slid 0.1 percent today. The gauge rose less than 0.1 percent yesterday after jobless claims unexpectedly dropped by 6,000 to 361,000 in the week ended Aug. 4. The median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 370,000.

The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S rose 0.7 percent to 91.49 in New York yesterday, led by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. and Sina Corp., a social media company.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell 6.2 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday amid concern Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will worsen and China’s economy is slowing. The regional benchmark index traded at 12.4 times estimated earnings, compared with 13.6 for the S&P 500 Index and 11.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of the 1,008 companies listed on the Asian benchmark gauge, 161 firms are scheduled to post earnings this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 371 companies to have reported since July 1 that have issued forecasts, fewer than half have beaten expectations, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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