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Japan Stock Futures Little Changed as Greece Buys Time

Japanese stock futures were little changed as European governments gave Greece two extra years to cut its budget deficit. Australian equities fell.

Shares of Hitachi Cable Ltd. may move as the Nikkei reported that the electronic-equipment manufacturer may merge with Hitachi Metals Ltd. Olympus Corp. shares may move as the camera and endoscope maker that admitted an accounting fraud cut its operating profit forecast by 24 percent.

Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring next month closed at 8,710 in Chicago yesterday, from 8,690 in Osaka. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,710 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained less than 0.1 percent.

“The Greece uncertainty continues to keep the bulls at bay,” said Stan Shamu, Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Markets, a provider of trading services in equities, currencies and commodities. “There are no fresh catalysts to sway investors significantly in either direction.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent changed today. The S&P 500 closed yesterday little changed, with fewer than 292 million shares of New York Stock Exchange-listed companies changing hands on the NYSE, the least in Bloomberg data going back to 2003, as the Big Board canceled trading and closing auctions in 216 securities after an outage in a computer that matches orders and processes transactions.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 11 percent through yesterday from this year’s low on June 4 as central banks added stimulus to spur growth and data showed a slowdown in China may be bottoming. The gauge traded at 13.2 times estimated earnings as of Nov. 9, compared with 13.3 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.1 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Deadline Extended

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in New York was little changed at 92.78 yesterday.

European Finance ministers granted Greece until 2016 to cut the deficit to 2 percent of gross domestic product while putting off until next week a decision on how to cover additional Greek funding needs of as much as 32.6 billion euros ($41 billion).

In the latest compromise in three years of crisis fighting, creditors led by Germany opted to keep money flowing to Greece instead of risking a default that could lead to a Greek exit from the euro and stir more turmoil for countries left in it.

Euro-area finance ministers will meet again Nov. 20 to discuss Greece, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean- Claude Juncker, who heads the group of euro-area finance ministers, told reporters in Brussels.

“Together with the review of the Greek adjustment program the eurogroup will further discuss financing needs and debt sustainability at an extraordinary meeting that will be convened on 20 November,” the ministers said in a statement, read out by Juncker.

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