Japanese Stock Futures Little Changed on Oil, Greek Outlook

Japanese stock futures were little changed and Australian equities slipped as oil rose while investors warned Greece will soon violate the terms of its second bailout.

American depositary receipts of Canon Inc., a Japanese camera maker that gets 31 percent of its sales in Europe, slid 0.3 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. ADRs of Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, lost 0.6 percent after bellwether Dell Inc. forecast first-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ estimates, citing lackluster demand for personal computers and competition from Apple Inc. Medusa Mining Ltd., an Australian gold explorer, fell 3.6 percent in Sydney after reporting first-half profit slumped.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 9,480 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 9,490 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,470 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.2 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.5 percent in Wellington.

“Even though Greece got the latest bailout, there are still a lot of hurdles to face,” said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which has almost $100 billion under management. “The main driver for strength in recent times has been monetary easing around the globe or good economic data, and last night was pretty quiet on that front.”

Greek Outlook

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index added less than 0.1 percent in New York yesterday, when European finance ministers approved a 130 billion euro ($172 billion) bailout for Greece to avoid a March bankruptcy. Even with investors and central bankers chipping in to relieve the debt burden, economists from Citigroup Inc. to Commerzbank AG concluded Greece may again fail to deliver amid a fifth year of recession, looming elections and social unrest.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 12 percent this year through yesterday, compared with an 8.3 percent advance by the S&P 500 and a 9.1 percent increase by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 14.7 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.1 times for the S&P 500 and 11.1 times for the Stoxx 600.

Chinese equities traded in the U.S. slipped the most in two weeks on speculation a second reduction in banks’ reserve requirements in two months won’t be enough to bolster credit in the world’s second-largest economy. The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. sank 2 percent to 106.66 yesterday in New York, the biggest drop since Feb. 6.

Crude oil for March delivery gained 2.5 percent to $105.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since May 4. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials added 1.6 percent yesterday.

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