Japan Stock Futures Fall on Political Impasse in Greece

Japanese and Australian stock futures fell as concern grew that Greece will be forced out of the euro, weakening the outlook for Asian exporters to Europe.

American depositary receipts of Sony Corp., Japan’s largest consumer electronics exporter, slid 1.2 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the refiner known as Sinopec, may track a decline in its U.S. traded shares as regulators cut fuel prices for the first time in seven months. ADRs of Toyota Motor Corp., which yesterday forecast profit will more than double this fiscal year, rose 2 percent.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in June closed at 8,990 in Chicago yesterday, down from 9,040 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,990 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.2 percent.

“The European crisis is going to be with us for some time,” said Cameron Peacock, a Melbourne-based analyst at IG Markets, a provider of trading services for stocks, bonds and currencies. “There’s the chance of further elections in Greece and the whole stability of Europe has been put into doubt.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.2 percent today. The gauge slid 0.7 percent in New York yesterday, the lowest level in two months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined for a sixth straight day, its longest losing streak since August.

Greek Impasse

Coalition talks in Greece have reached an impasse, raising concern the country may not hold to the terms of its two bailouts negotiated since May 2010. With parliament split and policy makers in Berlin and Brussels urging Greece to stay the course, the country at the epicenter of the debt crisis is again facing the risk of an exit from the euro.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 5.3 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 7.7 percent gain by the S&P 500 and a 2.1 percent advance by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12.3 times estimated earnings on average, compared with a multiple of 12.9 for the S&P 500 and 10.4 times for the Stoxx 600.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of Chinese shares lost 1.2 percent in New York, its weakest close since Jan. 31. Sinopec and PetroChina Ltd., the nation’s largest oil refiners, led declines.

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum declined 0.7 percent yesterday. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials slid 0.1 percent.

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