Japan Stock Futures Gain After BOJ Stimulus, U.S. Housing Data

Japanese stock futures and Australian equities gained after U.S. home prices rose the most in two years and the Bank of Japan added stimulus for a second time in two months.

American Depositary Receipts of Canon Inc., a Japanese camera maker that gets 27 percent of its sales in the Americas, gained 1.2 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. may be active after the maker of Subaru cars raised its profit forecast. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s No. 1 mining company by market value, added 0.6 percent in Sydney after crude and metals prices increased.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,930 in Chicago yesterday, up from 8,850 in Osaka. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,900 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.3 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.2 percent in Wellington.

“The U.S. housing is clearly recovering,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “The joint statement from the government and the BOJ on stimulus measures helps convince investors that they are determined to overcome deflation and raises expectations they will continue to take aggressive steps to ease policy.”

Japan’s central bank yesterday said it will offer unlimited loans at low interest rates to lenders to try to boost credit demand. The move came alongside an 11 trillion yen ($138 billion) expansion of the central bank’s asset-purchase program.

Joint Statement

Economy Minister Seiji Maehara, in a joint statement with Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, said the government “strongly expects” powerful monetary easing until deflation is overcome. The joint statement was the first of its kind, Maehara said.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent in New York. U.S. equity markets reopen today after the longest weather-related shutdown in more than a century. Trading will resume after the New York Stock Exchange was spared by Hurricane Sandy as it swept through the city yesterday.

In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 2 percent from August 2011, the biggest year-to-year gain since July 2010, after rising 1.2 percent in the year to July, the group said yesterday in New York. The median forecast of 25 economists in a Bloomberg survey projected a 1.9 percent gain.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 11 percent from this year’s low on June 4 through yesterday as stimulus measures in the U.S., Japan and China boosted sentiment amid a global economic slowdown and Europe’s debt crisis. The gauge traded at 12.9 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.5 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.2 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Earnings Season

Japan’s current earnings season peaks this week, with 574 of the 1,672 Topix companies reporting results. Of the 432 companies on the Topix which have reported quarterly revenue since Oct. 1, and for which Bloomberg News has estimates, 64 percent have fallen short of projections.

Crude oil for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $ 85.68 a barrel in New York yesterday, rebounding from the lowest since July 10. The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals yesterday advanced 0.6 percent yesterday, the most since Oct. 17.

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