Japan Stock Futures Little Changed as Investors Await China Data

Japanese stock futures were little changed, indicating the Nikkei 225 Stock Average may halt a two-day advance, after the yen gained for the first time in five days and investors await a Chinese manufacturing report. Australian equity futures rose.

American Depositary Receipts of Trend Micro Inc., an internet security software maker that gets more than half its sales outside Japan, slid 1.6 percent from yesterday’s closing price in Tokyo as the yen failed to weaken through 100 per dollar. ADRs of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-largest oil producer, rose 1 percent as crude climbed for a fourth day, the longest streak of gains in a month.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in June traded at 13,595 in Chicago yesterday compared with 13,580 at the close in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 13,590 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.3 percent.

“After a nine-month surge, markets are trending sideways now,” said Matthew Sherwood, Sydney-based head of markets research at Perpetual Investments, which manages about $25 billion. “The thrust from central bank liquidity is beginning to wane and the anemic growth environment is starting to reassert its influence.”

HSBC Holdings Plc’s so-called flash Purchasing Manufacturing Index is forecast to drop to 51.5 in April from 51.6, according to the median of 11 estimates surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the report on Chinese manufacturing growth to be released today.

Nikkei Surges

Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 60 percent in the past nine months, accelerating since November as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and central bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda pledged to defeat 15 years of deflation. The yen gained 0.3 percent yesterday to 99.23, the first increase in five days. The currency traded at 99.33 per dollar at 7:50 a.m. in Tokyo.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, the benchmark regional equities gauge, has rallied 20 percent in the past nine months. That left the gauge yesterday trading at 14 times average estimated earnings compared with 14.1 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 were little changed. The gauge climbed 0.5 percent yesterday as Caterpillar Inc. jumped and a rally in commodity prices spurred energy and raw-material producers.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. climbed 0.5 percent in New York yesterday. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.2 percent in New York.

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