Japanese Stock Futures Rise as Investors Await BOJ, Earnings

Japanese stock futures rose, signaling the Nikkei 225 Stock Average may extend a gain from its highest close in almost five years, as the central bank convenes tomorrow and investors await earnings reports.

American depositary receipts of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Japan’s third-largest bank by market value, rose 0.9 percent. ADRs of Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker, slid 4.4 percent after its income forecast missed analysts estimates on slumping demand for compact models. Those of Shiseido Co., Japan’s biggest cosmetics maker, fell 3.6 percent after forecasting its first full-year loss in eight years.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in June closed at 13,915 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 13,830 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 13,910 in Osaka, at 8:05 a.m. local time. Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed for a public holiday today.

“Expectations are mounting overseas for Japanese stocks after the Nikkei’s rally yesterday confirmed a bullish trend,” said Takashi Aoki, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co., which oversees the equivalent of about 3.4 trillion yen ($34 billion). “Investors are getting a sense that the Bank of Japan is executing quantitative easing steadily.”

Earnings Results

Komatsu Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are among more than 70 companies on the Topix that report earnings today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Investors are weighing how a drop in the yen will improve the earnings outlook for exporters.

The yen has declined against all of its 16 major counterparts since April 4, when the BOJ said it will double the amount of money circulating in the economy by the end of 2014 by buying government bonds, its boldest round of quantitative easing.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent today. The index was little changed yesterday in New York, as investors weighed quarterly earnings at companies from Boeing Co. to Apple Inc.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 7.4 percent this year through yesterday amid optimism Japan will deploy more measures to beat deflation and that policy makers in the U.S. and China remain on standby to support growth. The Asian benchmark trades at 14.1 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 14.3 times for the S&P 500 and 12.8 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S. rose 1.3 percent to 90.93.

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