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Japanese, Australian Stock Futures Gain on U.S. Building

Japanese and Australian stock futures rose after U.S. building permits reached a four-year high and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her commitment to working with the European Central Bank to resolve the region’s debt crisis.

American depositary receipts of Sony Corp. (6758), a Japanese consumer electronics exporter that gets 70 percent of its sales overseas, gained 1.5 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Shares of Orix Corp. may be active after the Japanese finance company said it may spend about $400 million to buy a stake in a Dubai-based life insurer. ADRs of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s No. 2 oil producer, added 0.5 percent after crude rose above $95 a barrel for the first time in three months.

Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 9,125 in Chicago yesterday, up from 9,080 in Osaka. They were bid in pre-market trading at 9,140 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures rose 0.6 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.1 percent in Wellington.

“The U.S. economic deterioration is being curtailed,” said Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. “Euro-region officials are going along with the ECB, reducing uncertainty.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) added 0.1 percent today. The gauge rose 0.7 percent yesterday after building permits rose to an 812,000 annual pace, the most since August 2008. Permits were projected to increase to 769,000, according to the median estimate of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Spain Bailout

Shares extended gains after a person familiar with the matter said Spain is about to get an emergency disbursement from a 100 billion-euro ($123 billion) bailout package. German Chancellor Merkel said the ECB’s insistence on conditionality in return for help to lower borrowing costs in indebted countries matches her country’s priorities to end the crisis in the euro region.

The euro strengthened against all of its most-traded counterparts. The shared currency rose against the yen to as much as 98.18 yen today in Tokyo, compared with 97.42 at the close of stock trading yesterday, boosting the value of European income at Japanese companies when converted into their home currency.

Crude oil for September delivery increased $1.27 to settle at $95.60 a barrel in New York yesterday, rising for a third day. The price reached $95.75, the highest intraday level since May 14.

Chinese Stocks

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum yesterday gained 0.7 percent, the biggest advance since Aug. 7.

The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S slipped 0.9 percent to 91.69 in New York yesterday. NetEase Inc. led a drop in the index as second- quarter profit and sales at the online games company missed estimates.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell 6.6 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 12.5 times estimated earnings compared with 13.7 times for the S&P 500 Index and a multiple of 11.7 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of the 1,008 companies listed on the Asian benchmark gauge, 116 firms are reporting earnings this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 429 companies that have reported quarterly results since July 1, and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 44 percent have exceeded expectations.

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at nkuboyama@bloomberg.net; Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at skawano1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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