Japanese stock futures and Australian equities rose after reports on U.S. employment and manufacturing topped estimates and consumer confidence in the world’s largest economy climbed last month to a more than four-year high.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s largest mining company, climbed 1.8 percent to lead gains among companies whose earnings are most tied to economic swings. American Depositary Receipts of Komatsu Ltd. (6301), the second-biggest maker of construction and mining equipment, rose 1.7 percent. ADRs of Sharp Corp. (6753) slumped 11 percent after the TV maker forecast a record loss and said there was “material doubt” about its survival.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 9,055 in Chicago yesterday, up from 8,950 in Osaka. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,050 in Osaka, at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) advanced 0.3 percent today, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index retreated 0.3 percent in Wellington.
“Global indicators are starting to show an improvement in momentum, particularly in the U.S.,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages almost $100 billion. “This can be sustained if central banks keep supporting growth.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The gauge yesterday gained 1.1 percent, its biggest advance in seven weeks.
American companies expanded payrolls in October by the most in eight months, the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index topped estimates, and a measure of consumer sentiment rose to the highest since February 2008, reports showed yesterday.
Today’s monthly employment report from the Labor Department will provide more information about the strength of the economy before the presidential election. Payrolls probably increased by 125,000 workers in October and the jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The MSCI Asia Pacific (MXAP) Index climbed 7 percent this year as central banks in the U.S., Japan and Europe boosted stimulus to support economic growth. The gauge traded at 13.2 times estimated earnings, compared with 13.7 for the S&P 500 Index and 12.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Sharp said its net loss will probably widen to 450 billion yen in the year ending March 31, the Osaka-based TV maker said in a statement yesterday, scrapping an earlier projection for a 250 billion-yen loss. Sharp follows Panasonic Corp. in predicting losses that exceeded analysts estimates after losing ground to Samsung Electronics Co. in TVs.
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