Japan, Australian Stock Futures Rise on U.S. Retail Sales

Japanese and Australian stock futures gained after U.S. retail sales and German gross domestic product rose more than forecast, boosting the outlook for Asian exporters.

American depositary receipts of Sony Corp., a Japanese consumer electronics exporter that gets almost 40 percent of its revenue from the U.S. and Europe, rose 0.5 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Those of Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest carmaker, climbed 0.8 percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported Japan will offer subsidies for ultra-compact cars. ADRs of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-largest oil producer, gained 0.7 percent after commodity prices advanced.

Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 8,940 in Chicago yesterday compared with 8,930 in Osaka. They were bid in pre-market trading at 8,940 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures added 0.1 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.3 percent in Wellington.

The U.S. economic data “would temporarily weaken the expectations for additional easing and is alleviating concerns of the yen’s strength against the dollar, which is a good factor for exporters,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent today. The gauge was little changed yesterday as a slump in technology and financial shares reversed an earlier rally amid better-than-estimated retail sales.

Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales climbed more than forecast in July as consumer spending rebounded at department stores, auto dealers and electronics outlets. The 0.8 percent advance, the first gain in four months, followed a 0.7 percent drop in June, Commerce Department figures showed. Economists projected a 0.3 percent increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

The yen depreciated to as low as 78.93 against the dollar last night in Tokyo, compared with 78.45 at the close of stock trading. Against the euro, Japan’s currency weakened to 97.47 from 96.96. A weaker yen boosts the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated.

In Europe, the Federal Statistics Office in Germany said gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent from the first quarter. Economists predicted a 0.2 percent increase, according to the median of 40 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. French GDP was unchanged in the quarter, better than the 0.1 percent decline economists had predicted.

Oil, Metals

Crude oil for September delivery advanced 0.8 percent to settle at $93.43 a barrel yesterday in New York, snapping a two-day decline. The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum added 0.3 percent, rising for the first time in five days.

The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S rose 0.6 percent to 92.45 in New York yesterday, the highest level since July 5. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. led the gain in the index.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 6.7 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 12.4 times estimated earnings compared with 13.6 times for the S&P 500 Index and a multiple of 11.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of the 1,008 companies listed on the Asian benchmark gauge, about 120 are scheduled to post earnings this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 419 companies that have reported quarterly results since July 1, and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 43 percent have exceeded expectations.

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