Bloomberg News

Japanese, Australian Stock Futures Gain as Europe Concern Eases

September 13, 2011

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese and Australian stock futures rose as French banks dismissed concerns over their access to funds, easing concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen.

American depositary receipts of Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second-biggest carmaker by revenue, gained 0.9 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Sony Corp., a consumer electronics exporter that earns more than 20 percent of its revenue from Europe, rose 0.4 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s No. 1 oil producer, jumped 1.2 percent after crude prices advanced.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,590 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 8,570 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,580 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed in Wellington.

“The main banks’ rejection of funding concerns will decrease excessive worries on the European debt issues,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “With the mounting default concern in Greece, investors had been increasingly worried about fund-raising as European banks have a lot of Greek bonds.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.2 percent today. In New York, the index advanced for a second day, rising 0.9 percent yesterday, after BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, and Societe Generale SA, the country’s No. 3 lender by assets, rebounded in Paris trading after rejecting concerns over their access to funding.

‘Manageable’

Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York that the bank’s exposure to European sovereign debt was “manageable” and that it could do without access to U.S. money-market funds.

Stocks briefly trimmed gains in New York after a report that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece should not get any additional aid beyond what has already been agreed upon.

Greece should default on its bonds to stop a deterioration of the economy, said Mario Blejer, a former Bank of England adviser who took the reins of Argentina’s central bank after its 2001 default on $95 billion.

Oil Rises

Crude oil for October delivery advanced 2.3 percent to $90.21 a barrel in New York yesterday, the highest settlement since Aug. 3 on speculation a report today will show supplies fell in the U.S., the biggest oil-consuming country.

Futures increased before the Energy Department report that may show supplies declined by 3 million barrels last week because of storms in the Gulf of Mexico. Prices also advanced after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s confident Europe will find a solution for Finland’s objections to Greece’s bailout.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 14 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 6.7 percent drop by the S&P 500 and a 20 percent loss by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 11.8 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 11.8 for the S&P 500 and 9.2 times for the Stoxx 600.

--Editors: John McCluskey, Jason Clenfield.

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at nkuboyama@bloomberg.net; Toshiro Hasegawa in Tokyo at thasegawa6@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.


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