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Japanese Stock Futures Decline Ahead of Tankan Sentiment Survey

Previewing Japan's Stock Futures
Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Zeb Eckert previews the stock futures in Japan. (Source: Bloomberg)

Japanese stock futures fell before a quarterly central bank business survey today forecast to show the nation’s biggest manufacturers grew more pessimistic amid a global economic slowdown.

American depositary receipts of Komatsu Ltd., Japan’s largest construction machinery maker, declined 1.1 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. ADRs of Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, slid 0.7 percent after U.S. consumer spending stalled. Those of Sharp Corp. added 1 percent after the Japanese television maker signed bank loans, giving Foxconn Technology Group a reason to exit its commitment to help the unprofitable firm.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,860 in Chicago on Sept. 28, compared with 8,880 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,850 in Osaka, at 8:05 a.m. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.4 percent today. Australia’s stock exchange will operate normal hours, while much of the country is closed for a public holiday today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1 percent in Wellington. Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed for a public holiday.

“People still have to downgrade their assumptions for economic growth, and that will probably flow through the next quarter or next half in lower profit assumptions for companies,” said Tim Schroeders, who helps manage $1 billion in equities at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne. “Given markets are closed in many parts, I think we are probably in for a relatively quiet, but soft start to the week.”

Tankan Survey

The Bank of Japan’s Tankan report will show today that its measure of business confidence fell to -4, the fourth straight quarter that pessimists outnumbered optimists, according to the median of estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The survey is due at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo.

In China, a government-backed purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing is due today. The gauge probably rose to 50.1 in September, just above the expansion-contraction dividing level of 50, from a nine-month low of 49.2 in August, according to the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. fell 0.2 percent on Sept. 28.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 7.6 percent this year through last week as policy makers boosted stimulus measures to counter a global economic slowdown and quell Europe’s debt crisis. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12.8 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.9 times for the S&P 500 and 11.9 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.3 percent today. The index dropped 0.5 percent in New York on Sept. 28, capping the biggest weekly loss since June, after reports showed business activity unexpectedly contracted in September and consumer spending stalled in August as the surge in gasoline prices squeezed paychecks.


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