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Japan Stock Futures Drop as Investors Question Stimulus

Japanese and Australian stock futures fell amid concern that stimulus measures by central banks from the U.S to Asia and Europe won’t be enough to boost global economic growth.

American Depositary Receipts of BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, slid 1.4 percent as investors sold shares of companies with earnings closely tied to economic growth. ADRs of Canon Inc., a Japanese camera maker that gets 80 percent of sales offshore, dropped 1.2 percent. Those of Sony Corp. slid 3.3 percent after Standard & Poor’s cut the Japanese consumer-electronics maker’s credit rating by one level.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,960 in Chicago yesterday, down from 9,010 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,950 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.8 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index retreated 0.3 percent in Wellington.

Investors are “finally realizing that recently announced liquidity injections from central banks will do nothing to address the structural issues,” said Matthew Sherwood, Sydney-based head of markets research at Perpetual Investments, which manages about $25 billion.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 5.1 percent this quarter through yesterday as central banks from Europe, the U.S., Japan and China took action to stimulate economic growth. The gauge has climbed 8.3 percent this year compared with a 15 percent gain on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and a 13 percent jump on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The Asian benchmark traded at 12.8 times estimated earnings compared with 13.9 for the S&P 500 and 12.2 for the Stoxx Europe 600.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed today. The gauge yesterday fell for a fourth day, retreating 1.1 percent for its biggest decline since June 25.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said new bond buying announced by the Fed this month probably won’t boost growth or hiring and may jeopardize the central bank’s credibility.

China’s central bank yesterday added a record 290 billion yuan ($46 billion) to the financial system using reverse-repurchase agreements, seeking to address a cash squeeze in the run-up to a week-long holiday. The People’s Bank of China conducted 190 billion yuan of 28-day reverse repos and offered 100 billion yuan of 14-day contracts, according to a trader at a primary dealer required to bid at the auctions. That’s the highest for a single day in data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 2004.

The PBOC yesterday reiterated it will pursue prudent monetary policy, according to a statement posted to its website following a quarterly meeting of its monetary policy committee.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. dropped 0.9 percent to 90.78 yesterday.

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