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Japanese Stock Futures Advance on U.S. Retail Sales, Weaker Yen

Japanese stock futures rose after U.S. retail sales beat estimates and the yen weakened against its 16 most-traded counterparts, boosting the earnings outlook for exporters. Australian equities gained.

American Depositary Receipts of Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker by sales, increased 0.5 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Nissan Motor Co. gained 1.5 percent after the automaker and Renault SA said they aim to double their annual cost savings from their alliance by 2016. Santos Ltd., Australia’s third-largest oil producer, added 0.4 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its rating on the stock to outperform.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,655 in Chicago yesterday, up from 8,590 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,650 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.4 percent in Wellington.

“Personal consumption in the U.S. is getting more solid than expected,” said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, a strategist at Tokyo-based SMBC Friend Securities Co. Stronger retail sales “will likely encourage people to expect year-end shopping sales and October-December corporate earnings to be favorable.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent today. The gauge climbed 0.8 percent yesterday after retail sales and Citigroup Inc.’s earnings topped estimates.

Retail Sales

Retail sales climbed 1.1 percent in September following a revised 1.2 percent increase in August, the best back-to-back showing since late 2010, Commerce Department figures showed in Washington. The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.8 percent increase. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index rose to minus 6.2 from minus 10.4 in September, which was the lowest reading since April 2009.

The Japanese currency fell against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts. The yen depreciated to as low as 78.75 against the dollar today in Tokyo, compared with 78.56 at the close of stock trading yesterday. Against the euro, Japan’s currency weakened to 101.96 from 101.47. A weaker yen boosts the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated.

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum fell 0.7 percent yesterday to the lowest level since Sept. 7.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 6.4 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 12.8 times estimated earnings compared with 13.7 times for the S&P 500 Index and a multiple of 12 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S gained 1.1 percent to 94.76 in New York yesterday, the highest close since May 15.

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