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Australian Stock Futures Are Little on Europe, U.S. Jobs

Australian stock futures were little changed as unemployment in the euro-region rose to a 15-year high and a survey showed U.S. companies added fewer jobs than economists estimated, fueling concern the global economy is slowing.

American depositary receipts of BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, rose 0.2 percent from the closing share price in Sydney. Those of Samsung Electronics Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones that gets 39 percent of its sales in Europe and America, fell 0.4 percent. Westpac Banking Corp. may be active after Australia’s second-biggest lender said first-half profit rose as growth in lending outpaced an increase in expenses.

Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced less than 0.1 percent to 4,432 at 8:48 a.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.1 percent in Wellington. Japanese equity markets are closed today and tomorrow for public holidays.

“The latest data suggest the euro area is slowly sliding towards a deeper recession,” James Nixon, a London-based economist at Societe Generale SA, wrote in a report. “The most worrying aspect of the slide into recession is the renewed increase in unemployment.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index slid 0.3 percent in New York yesterday.

American companies added 119,000 workers in April, the fewest in seven months, according to data from a private survey. The report intensified concern that Labor Department data tomorrow may show the U.S. isn’t growing fast enough to reduce unemployment.

Europe Jobs, Manufacturing

The jobless rate in the euro area rose to 10.9 percent in March, manufacturing contracted last month and unemployment in Germany unexpectedly increased, reports showed.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index rose 13 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 11.5 percent gain by the S&P 500 and a 5.3 percent advance by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12 times estimated earnings on average, compared with a multiple of 13.3 for the S&P 500 and 10.7 times for the Stoxx 600.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. rose 0.2 percent to 104.86 in New York. Renren Inc., a Chinese social networking website, jumped for a second day as Facebook Inc. plans to begin marketing its initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum declined 1.6 percent yesterday. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials lost 1.3 percent.

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