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Japan, Australian Stock Futures Little Changed on Europe

Japanese and Australian stock futures were little changed as an impasse among European leaders in efforts to resolve the debt crisis and weaker German business confidence curbed the outlook for Asian exporters.

American Depositary Receipts of Komatsu Ltd. (6301), the world’s second-biggest construction-equipment maker, lost 0.9 percent as Caterpillar Inc. cut its 2015 profit forecast. Shares of Apple Inc. suppliers may be active after the smartphone and computer maker reported debut sales for the iPhone 5 that fell short of some analysts’ estimates as supply constraints delayed shipments. ADRs of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s largest mining company, slid 0.4 percent as metals prices dropped.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,985 in Chicago yesterday compared with 8,990 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,990 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index were little changed today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.1 percent in Wellington.

“We expect the euro zone to muddle through it tortuous crisis-management process for a very long time,” said Benjamin Yeo, Singapore-based head of investment strategy at Barclays Plc’s wealth-management, which handles about $285 billion. “The region’s headwinds will remain a strong headwind for the global economy.”

Europe Impasse

Germany’s governing coalition showed growing exasperation with Spain, with a senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel saying Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy must stop prevaricating and decide whether Spain needs a full rescue. Meister’s comments underscore Europe’s crisis-fighting stalemate amid discord over a banking union, Greece’s ongoing debate on how to meet bailout commitments and foot-dragging by Spain on possible aid.

“He must spell out what the situation is,” Michael Meister, finance spokesman for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said in an interview in Berlin yesterday. The fact he’s not doing so shows “Rajoy evidently has a communication problem. If he needs help, he must say so.”

Germany’s Ifo institute in Munich yesterday said its business climate index dropped for a fifth straight month.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent today. The measures yesterday fell for a third day, its longest decline in seven weeks, as European leaders clashed on ways to stem the debt crisis and data from China and Germany signaled the slowdown is deepening.

The MSCI Asia Pacific (MXAP) Index climbed 5 percent this quarter through yesterday as central banks from Europe, the U.S., Japan and China took action to stimulate economic growth. The gauge’s 8.1 percent advance this year compares with a 16 percent gain on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and a 12 percent jump on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. (SXXP) The Asian benchmark traded at 12.7 times estimated earnings compared with 14.1 for the S&P 500 and 12.1 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index (CRY) of raw materials retreated 1 percent yesterday.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. fell 0.3 percent to 91.59 yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

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

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