Japanese stock futures were little changed before a Bank of Japan decision and a consumer price report from China today amid speculation equities had risen too much after reaching a one-month high.
American depository receipts of Sony Corp, Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, rose 0.7 percent from yesterday’s close. Those of Advantest Corp. fell 0.8 percent after shares of the chip equipment maker yesterday climbed in Tokyo. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s No. 3 mining company, may be active in Sydney after saying its plan to sell diamond assets is “well advanced.”
Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures expiring in September closed at 8,880 in Chicago yesterday, little changed from 8,870 in Osaka. They were bid in pre-market trading at 8,880 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures rose 0.2 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2 percent in Wellington.
“Investors may sell to lock in profit after shares have risen on speculation the U.S. and Europe may add stimulus,” said Masayuki Doshida, an analyst at Rakuten Economic Research Institute in Tokyo. “China may ease monetary policy if the consumer price index falls below market estimates. That would bolster markets.”
The Bank of Japan will refrain from adding stimulus at the conclusion of a meeting today amid signs the nation’s economy is picking up, according to all 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
In China, a report today may show consumer prices climbed at a slower pace for a fourth month to 1.7 percent in July from 2.2 percent a month earlier, according to economist estimates. It would be the lowest inflation since January 2010. A commentary yesterday in China’s Financial News said moderating price gains leaves gives “bigger” room for stimulus.
Separate reports may show retail sales slipped and industrial production in the world’s second-largest economy grew less 10 percent for a fourth month, a level not seen since the 2009 financial crisis.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent today. The gauge added 0.1 percent yesterday after falling as much as 0.4 percent following comments by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher signaling opposition to more stimulus. Adequate measures are already in in place and global central banks may not have the capacity to undertake add stimulus, he said.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 6.9 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through yesterday amid concern Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will worsen and China’s economy is slowing. The regional benchmark index traded at 12.3 times estimated earnings, compared with 13.6 for the S&P 500 Index and 11.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.