Japan Stock Futures Little Changed as Europe Offsets China Data

Japanese stock futures and Australian equities were little changed as concern European leaders will struggle to make progress on the region’s debt crisis when they meet this week in Brussels offset better-than-estimated China exports data.

American Depositary Receipts of Sony Corp., the Japanese electronics maker that gets 20 percent of sales in Europe, lost 1.9 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, declined 0.6 percent as metals prices retreated. Softbank Corp. shares may be active as three people familiar with the talks said Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone company is near an agreement to buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel Corp. for $20 billion.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,545 in Chicago Oct. 12, down from 8,560 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,550 in Osaka, at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.1 percent in Wellington.

“Markets are currently looking toward the end of October regarding the timing of any formal request by Spain for European support,” said George Boubouras, Melbourne-based head of investment strategy at UBS AG’s Australian wealth-management unit. The Swiss bank has about $1.5 trillion in assets under management. Lower global growth forecasts “confirm that the recent aggressive policy stimulus in both Europe and the U.S. were timely. Emerging economies, particularly China, have the capacity to stimulate much more.”

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent today. The gauge tumbled 2.2 percent last week as the International Monetary Fund reduced its global growth forecasts and projections from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Alcoa Inc. disappointed investors.

European leaders meet this week as Greece seeks to justify renewed aid and Spain holds out on tapping a bailout. The European Union leaders convene for an Oct. 18-19 summit in Brussels after a weekend in which international finance chiefs expressed some optimism that a firewall is in place to contain the euro’s turmoil and urged further action to quell the main threat to global growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 6.1 percent this year through Oct. 12 as central banks in Europe, the U.S., Japan and China added stimulus measures to counter a global economic slowdown and the European debt crisis. The Asian benchmark traded at 12.8 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.6 times for the S&P 500 Index and a multiple of 12 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Chinese Exports

China’s exports and money supply grew more than estimated in September, signaling the world’s second-biggest economy may be stabilizing after a slowdown that began in the first quarter of 2011. Overseas shipments increased 9.9 percent from a year earlier, the customs administration said Oct. 13 in Beijing. That was more than the 5.5 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. M2 money supply gained 14.8 percent, the fastest pace since June 2011, a central bank report showed the same day.

The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials retreated 0.8 percent Oct. 12.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese companies in the U.S. climbed 0.1 percent to 93.75 on Oct. 12 in New York.

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