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Japanese Stock Futures Gain on U.S. Home Sales, Earnings

Japanese stocks rose for the first time in five days as signs the U.S. housing market is stabilizing boosted exporters and on better-than-estimated earnings. Apple Inc.’s profit soared, lifting its suppliers.

Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker, rose 1.5 percent. Fanuc Corp., which produces machine tools used to manufacture the iPhone, climbed 2.7 percent after Apple’s profit almost doubled. Nomura Holdings Inc. gained 2.4 percent on speculation the brokerage may post higher net income. Yoshinoya Holdings Co., which imports meat for its beef bowls, fell the most in a year after a report of mad-cow disease in California.

“A recovery trend on earnings is being seen both in Japan and the U.S. at the moment, boosting markets,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “The U.S. economy is still in mild recovery.”

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1 percent to 9,561.01 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo. The broader Topix Index rose 0.7 percent to 809.49, with more than three times as many shares advancing as falling.

Volume on the Nikkei 225 was about 30 percent less than the 30-day average before the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting today and the Bank of Japan meeting on April 27, when it’s expected to announce additional easing.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.4 percent today. The gauge gained 0.4 percent in New York yesterday as sales of new U.S. homes were stronger than projected in March, indicating cheaper borrowing costs are stabilizing the market.

Apple, the world’s largest company by market value, posted profit that almost doubled last quarter, reflecting robust demand for the iPhone in China. The results were posted after the close of U.S. markets.

Fanuc gained 2.7 percent to 14,800 yen. Foster Electric Co., a maker of headphones for Apple’s iPod portable music player, climbed 4.6 percent to 1,156 yen.

Earnings Beat Estimates

Earnings beat forecasts at 82 percent of S&P 500 companies that reported results since April 10, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In Japan, almost a fifth of the Topix’s 1,665 companies are scheduled to report earnings this week. Net income grew more than 60 percent in the first quarter at companies that reported results since April 10, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nomura gained 2.4 percent to 344 yen after two people with knowledge of the matter said it will report an increase in quarterly profit as gains from trading outweighed declines in investment banking. Japan’s biggest brokerage is scheduled to announce earnings on April 27, according to Bloomberg data.

Bicycle-parts manufacturer Shimano Inc. soared 5.4 percent to 5,260 yen after its profit more than tripled to 7 billion yen ($86 million) in the quarter ended March 31 on growing sales.

Exporters advanced after the yen fell versus all of its 16 most-traded counterparts on speculation Bank of Japan officials will add to stimulus measures at this week’s policy meeting.

Exporters Climb

Canon climbed 1.5 percent to 3,800 yen. Nissan Motor Co., a carmaker that gets about 80 percent of its revenue overseas, rose 1.1 percent to 840 yen.

The Japanese currency depreciated to as low as 81.56 against the dollar today in Tokyo, compared with 80.91 at the close of stock trading yesterday. The yen weakened to 107.65 against the euro from 106.45. A weaker yen boosts the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated.

Yoshinoya lost 2.4 percent to 102,800 yen, the biggest drop since April 2011, after reports of the first U.S. case of mad-cow disease in six years. The company serves bowls of rice topped with beef, a dish it stopped serving from February 2004 to September 2006 after the brain-wasting illness was detected in some imported beef.

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