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Japan Futures, Australia Stocks Drop as U.S. GDP Trails Forecast

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stock futures and Australian equities fell after the U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the fourth quarter, dimming the earnings outlook for Asia’s exporters.

American depositary receipts of Toyota Motor Corp., which gets almost 30 percent of its sales from the U.S., lost 0.5 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Shares of Nippon Yusen K.K. and Mitsui OSK Ltd. may fall today after a Nikkei newspaper report the shipping lines may post losses amid falling cargo rates. BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s top oil producer and the world’s No. 1 mining company by market value, slipped 0.3 percent in Sydney after oil and metals prices declined.

“The U.S. growth number was below forecast and that’s a negative,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Tokyo-based Monex Inc. “The market looks overheated, so investors are likely to use the report as an excuse to sell and lock in profit.”

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 8,825 in Chicago on Jan. 27, compared with 8,830 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,810 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.1 percent today, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1 percent in Wellington.


Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The gauge lost 0.2 percent in New York on Jan. 27 after a report showed U.S. gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, expanded less than analysts forecast.

The world’s biggest economy grew at a 2.8 percent annualized rate in the three months through December, compared with a forecast for a 3 percent increase. Growth accelerated from 1.8 percent in the previous quarter.

European Union leaders gather today in Brussels for their first summit of 2012 where they will put the finishing touches on a German-led deficit-control treaty and endorse the statutes of a 500 billion-euro ($661 billion) rescue fund to be set up this year.

Greece and its private creditors said Jan. 28 they expect to complete a deal in coming days after bondholders signaled they would accept European government demands for a bigger cut in their debt holdings.

Renren, FaceBook

The China-US 55 Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. rose 1.6 percent to a four-month high of 104.14 in New York on Jan. 27. Trina Solar Ltd. led gainers after Germany voted to keep subsidies for the solar industry. Renren Inc. led a surge in Internet companies on a report that Facebook Inc. may issue shares this week.

Japanese stocks may fall today after the 25-day Toraku index, a momentum indicator, exceeded 120 on Jan. 27, a level that suggests the market may be poised to fall. The gauge rose to 124, the highest level since July 26.

Crude oil for March delivery slid 0.1 percent to $99.56 a barrel in New York on Jan. 27, the first drop in three days. The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum lost 0.6 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 8.1 percent this year through Jan. 27, compared with increases of 4.7 percent by the S&P 500 and 4.4 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 1.3 times book value. That compares with 2.2 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in the U.S. and 1.4 times for the Europe Stoxx 600 Index in Europe.

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at; Masaaki Iwamoto in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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