Asian Stock Futures Rise on U.S. Earnings Optimism

Asian stock futures rose, signaling shares in the region will follow gains in U.S. stocks, after earnings at Citigroup Inc. beat estimates. Japanese equities will reopen following a holiday yesterday.

American depositary receipts of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest lender, added 1.7 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo on July 12. Those of Honda Motor Co., a Japanese carmaker that gets 47 percent of its sales in North America, gained 1.4 percent. ADRs of BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s biggest oil producer, added 0.6 percent as crude rose for a second day.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 14,710 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 14,470 on July 12 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 14,660 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4 percent. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2 percent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 percent and contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies trading in Hong Kong climbed 0.6 percent.

“Good corporate earnings in the U.S. are improving investors’ sentiment because expectations weren’t that high to begin with,” said Toshihiko Matsuno, a strategist at Tokyo-based SMBC Friend Securities Co., a unit of Japan’s second-biggest lender by market value. “The yen reached below 100 again, boosting optimism about earnings.”

U.S. Earnings

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The index gained 0.1 percent in New York yesterday when Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, posted adjusted earnings of $1.25 a share for the second quarter, beating the $1.18 average estimate of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

U.S. retail sales rose less than projected in June. The 0.4 percent gain followed a 0.5 percent increase in May that was less than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday.

The yen reached 100.48 per dollar yesterday before trading at 99.94 per dollar as of 7:48 a.m. in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange becomes the world’s third-biggest bourse by listed companies today, adding 1,100 stocks from the Osaka Securities Exchange as the two merge their cash-equity trading platforms.

West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery gained 37 cents to settle at $106.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 4.3 percent this year through yesterday. The Asian benchmark traded at 13.2 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 15.2 times for the S&P 500 and 13.3 times for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. advanced 1 percent to 88.35 yesterday, after surging 3.7 percent last week.

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