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Japanese, Australian Stock Futures Gain on U.S. Retail Sales

Japanese and Australian stock futures gained after a report showing U.S. retail sales were better than forecast boosted the outlook for exporters as the global the global economic outlook improves.

American depositary receipts of Japanese consumer electronics exporter Sony Corp. rose 0.9 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Kyocera Corp., which gets half its sales from the U.S. and Europe, climbed 1.1 percent. ADRs of Honda Motor Co., Japan’s No. 2 carmaker by sales, slid 0.9 percent after it forecast a drop in profit, citing production disruptions and a strong yen. ADRs of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., an Australian oil producer, advanced 0.9 percent after crude prices rallied.

“Excessive concern about the future of the U.S. economy will recede because retail sales, the most important data showing U.S. personal spending, weren’t as bad as the market expected,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “Investors will likely buy companies sensitive to the global economy.”

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 9,605 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 9,530 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,580 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent today.

Honda’s net income may fall to 195 billion yen ($2.4 billion) this fiscal year from 534.1 billion yen a year earlier, the company said in a statement yesterday. Honda said it plans to pay a full-year dividend of 60 yen per share. It paid a dividend of 54 yen a year earlier.

Retail Sales

“People in the market are watching Honda’s stock movement to see investors’ sentiment,” SMBC Nikko Securities’ Nishi said.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. In New York, the index gained 1.3 percent yesterday, the most since April 20, after better-than-estimated data on American retail sales and Chinese industrial production.

The Commerce Department in Washington yesterday reported sales at retailers fell 0.2 percent in May, less than forecast, indicating American consumers are weathering higher gasoline costs. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a drop of 0.5 percent. Another report showed U.S. wholesale costs rose last month.

Also boosting the global economic recovery, China reported yesterday that its industrial production rose 13.3 percent last month compared with a 13.1 percent forecast.

Crude oil for July delivery gained 2.1 percent to $99.37 a barrel in New York yesterday, the biggest one-day increase since May 18. The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six metals including copper and aluminum leapt 2.2 percent yesterday, the largest gain since May 18.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has fallen 3.5 percent this year, compared with a gain of 2.4 percent by the S&P 500 and a drop of 1.8 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 13.5 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13 times for the S&P 500 and 10.9 times for the Stoxx 600.

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