Japan Stock Futures Rise After German Investor Confidence Jumps

Japanese stock futures rose after global equities gained as a pickup in German investor confidence signaled Europe’s largest economy is rebounding from a slump. Australian equities advanced.

American Depositary Receipts of Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets 30 percent of its revenue in Europe, climbed 2.2 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. The company was also upgraded at Credit Suisse Group AG. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, gained 0.1 percent in Sydney as it named its copper unit head Andrew Mackenzie as chief executive officer to succeed Marius Kloppers and reported a 58 percent decline in first-half profit. Prada SpA, an Italian fashion company, may be active in Hong Kong after reporting a 29 percent increase in full-year sales.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 11,420 in Chicago yesterday, up from 11,370 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 11,420 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.9 percent.

“Data in Europe, even if you are pessimistic, you’d have to conceive that they are stabilizing and there are points of improvement,” said Donald Williams, Sydney-based chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management Ltd., which manages about $1 billion. “There’s nothing you can point to as negative. The most negative thing actually is the size of the rally we’ve had since the middle of last year.”

Investor Confidence

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index added 0.7 percent to close at the highest level since 2007 in New York yesterday on optimism over deal making and data showing rising investor confidence in Germany.

U.S. office supply retailers Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax Inc. have discussed a merger and may announce a deal as early as this week, a person familiar with the matter said. In Europe, German investor confidence jumped more than economists forecast in February to the highest level in almost three years, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said yesterday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced about 10 percent from the start of November through yesterday, led by Japanese shares as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to beat deflation and pressed the central bank to ease monetary policy. Asia’s benchmark traded at 14.9 times estimated earnings as of yesterday compared with 13.8 for the S&P 500 and 12.5 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese companies in the U.S. declined 0.9 percent to 95.52 yesterday in New York.

Of the 341 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index that have reported quarterly earnings and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 50 percent exceeded profit expectations. That compares with 71 percent of S&P 500 companies that topped profit forecasts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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