Japanese stock futures and Australian shares rose amid speculation the Federal Reserve will continue stimulus measures to ensure growth in the world’s largest economy.
American Depositary Receipts of Nissan Motor Co., a Japanese carmaker that gets 80 percent of sales abroad, gained 0.7 percent. Shares of game website operator DeNA Co. may move in Tokyo after Sony Corp. said it will sell its stake in the company as it tries to avoid a fifth straight annual loss. Sky Network Television Ltd. dropped 4.3 percent in Wellington after New Corp. sold its 44 percent stake in New Zealand’s largest pay-TV operator.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring this month closed at 11,750 in Chicago yesterday, up from 11,710 at the close in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 11,740 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 1.1 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed.
“The continued penchant for monetary largess by the major central banks around the world still does provide an unprecedented cushion for investors,” said Benjamin Yeo, Singapore-based head of Asian investment strategy at Barclays Plc’s wealth management unit, which has about $250 billion under management. “The risk-on mode will prevail for the remainder of 2013.”
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank should press on with $85 billion in monthly bond buying while tracking possible costs and risks from the unprecedented program.
“Turning to the potential costs of the Federal Reserve’s asset purchases, there are some that definitely need to be monitored over time,” Yellen said yesterday in a speech in Washington. “At this stage, I do not see any that would cause me to advocate a curtailment of our purchase program.”
The Reserve Bank of Australia will probably keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged when it releases its decision at 2:30 p.m. today in Sydney. Contracts based on overnight borrowing costs show an 83 percent chance the RBA’s board will leave its overnight cash rate target at 3 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, the benchmark regional equities gauge, traded yesterday at 14.8 times average estimated earnings compared with 13.8 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.4 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.1 percent. U.S. shares rose yesterday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its highest level since 2007, as speculation the Fed will continue stimulus measures overshadowed concern over spending cuts and China’s economy.
The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. dropped 1.3 percent to 92.86 in New York yesterday.