Japanese and Australian stock futures fell amid concern about a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis and of a further slowdown in the global economy.
American Depositary Receipts of Canon Inc. (7751), a Japanese camera maker that gets almost 60 percent of its revenue from the Americas and Europe, lost 1.1 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Shares of Nippon Steel Corp. (5401), Japan’s biggest mill, may be active after widening its first-half loss forecast. ADRs of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), Australia’s largest oil producer and the world’s No. 1 mining company by market value, sank 1.3 percent after prices of crude and metals declined.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 8,915 in Chicago yesterday, down from 8,970 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,910 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.1 percent in Wellington.
“The U.S. economy has stopped deteriorating, but it’s far away from having a strong rebound,” said Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. “Uncertainty is increasing in Europe, dragging down markets.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) slid 0.1 percent today. The gauge lost 0.8 percent yesterday after a report showed more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the labor market is faltering amid a slowing economy.
Consumer spending in the U.S. rose 0.4 percent after being little changed in June, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday in Washington. That was less than the median estimate of economists for a 0.5 percent gain.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is scheduled to speak tomorrow at a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he may discuss the economic outlook. Policy makers have said they are prepared to provide new stimulus “fairly soon” unless there is evidence of “substantial and sustainable” improvement in the U.S. recovery, according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 31-Aug. 1 meeting. Policy makers are set to meet in September.
In Europe, a report showed economic confidence in the euro area fell more than economists forecast to a three-year low in August and Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government would delay deciding whether to seek a sovereign bailout until aid conditions are clear.
Crude oil for October delivery lost 0.9 percent to settle at $94.62 a barrel, a two-week low, in New York yesterday. The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum yesterday slid 0.5 percent, falling for a third day.
The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S slipped 0.9 percent to 88.10 in New York yesterday, the lowest level since Aug. 3, led by Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., on concern the nation’s economic slowdown is cutting into corporate earnings. Yingli, the world’s sixth- largest silicon-based solar module maker, sank the most in four weeks after ThinkEquity LLC recommended investors sell the stock.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell 8.3 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 times for the S&P 500 Index and a multiple of 11.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Japan’s Trade Ministry is scheduled to announce a report on July industrial production today at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo. Factory output probably rose 1.7 percent from June, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
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