Japanese and Australian stock futures fell as data from the U.S. to Italy added to concern that global economic growth is waning and Spanish borrowing costs soared amid violent protests against austerity measures.
American Depositary Receipts of Canon Inc., a Japanese camera maker that gets 80 percent of sales offshore, fell 0.3 percent. ADRs of BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, lost 0.9 percent as metals prices declined. Shares of Renesas Electronics Corp. may be active in Tokyo after Kyodo reported a government-backed counter offer for the chipmaker may be double an earlier bid by KKR & Co.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,865 in Chicago yesterday, down from 8,920 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,860 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.4 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index retreated 0.1 percent in Wellington.
“Economic data is not improving,” said Mikio Kumada, a Singapore-based global strategist for LGT Capital Management, which oversees more than $20 billion. “A sudden economic rebound would come close to a miracle and agreements on fiscal policy will be much harder to achieve than the recent monetary policy decisions.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.2 percent today. The U.S. gauge dropped 0.6 percent yesterday, for its longest retreat since July, amid concern that Europe’s debt crisis is worsening and global growth is slowing.
The Bank of Spain said the Spanish economy contracted at a “significant pace” in the third quarter. Reports showed new U.S. home sales trailed the median economist estimate, French consumer confidence dropped for a third month in September and Italian retail sales declined in July.
The London Metals Exchange Index of industrial metals declined 2 percent yesterday, its biggest retreat since July 20, as violent protests in Spain and Greece heightened concerns that Europe’s fiscal woes will cut demand for energy, metals and grains, eclipsing optimism spurred by government stimulus.
Spanish protesters marched for a second night in Madrid yesterday, calling on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to reverse austerity measures as his nine-month-old government prepared its fifth package of budget cuts. Police in riot gear used truncheons to beat protesters, who fought back throwing objects and wielding sticks. Spain’s 10-year government bond yields jumped as high as 6.07 percent.
In Athens yesterday police fired tear gas in response to fire-bombs thrown by demonstrators during a strike over wage cuts and austerity measures that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said are vital to keep Greece in the euro zone.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 3.7 percent this quarter as central banks in Europe, the U.S., Japan and China took action to stimulate economic growth. The gauge has climbed 6.8 percent this year compared with a 14 percent gain on the S&P 500 Index and an 11 percent jump on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The Asian benchmark traded at 12.7 times estimated earnings compared with 13.9 for the S&P 500 and 12 for the Stoxx Europe 600.
The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. dropped for a third day, losing 0.6 percent to 90.22 yesterday in New York.