Japanese Stock Futures Rise on Bets Fed to Keep Stimulus

Japanese stock futures rose after the benchmark U.S. equity index extended a record high amid bets the Federal Reserve won’t rush to scale back stimulus. Australian equity futures were little changed.

American Depositary Receipts of Honda Motor Co., a carmaker that gets 46 percent of its revenue in North America, gained 1 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest lender, rose 1.6 percent after forecasting profit that beat estimates. ADRs of Sharp Corp. advanced 4 percent after its stock rating was raised to overweight at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in June closed at 1,5185 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 15,090 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 15,160 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index were little changed today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.2 percent in Wellington.

“Market conditions are pretty cozy for investors because monetary easing is likely to continue for a while and the economy isn’t that bad,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index rose 0.5 percent to a fresh record in New York yesterday after data showing weakness in manufacturing fueled bets the Federal Reserve will be in no hurry to scale back stimulus. Industrial production declined in April by the most in eight months.

Japan GDP

In Japan, the economy probably expanded 2.7 percent in the three months ended March from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 36 economists surveyed by Bloomberg before the government releases the data at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 11 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 16 percent rally by the S&P 500 and a 10 percent advance by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. added 0.1 percent in the second day of gains. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent and contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies trading in Hong Kong fell less than 0.1 percent.

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