Bloomberg News

Japanese, Australian Stock Futures Gain on Support for Greece

September 14, 2011

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese and Australian stock futures advanced after German and French leaders said they are convinced Greece will remain in the euro zone and as optimism that China may support Europe’s most-indebted nations eased concerns of turmoil in the region.

American depositary receipts of Sony Corp., a consumer electronics exporter that earns more than 20 percent of its revenue from Europe, jumped 1.6 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, gained 1.3 percent. ADRs of Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s No. 2 lender by market value, climbed 2.3 percent.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,575 in Chicago yesterday compared with 8,460 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,570 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.8 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.5 percent in Wellington.

“There was a concern that France and Germany would one- sidedly blame Greece and show no support, but the situation on Greece was not as bad as expected,” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $600 million in Tokyo at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. “Following the stronger euro, more companies sensitive to the euro on earnings will likely be bought.”

Greece Support

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent today. In New York, the index advanced for a third day, rising 1.4 percent yesterday. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are “convinced” Greece will remain in the euro area, according to a statement issued by Sarkozy after they spoke to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou by telephone.

Also, China is willing to buy the bonds of nations hit by the debt crisis, Caijing reported on its website yesterday, citing Zhang Xiaoqiang, a vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Earlier yesterday in New York, stocks slumped after inventories in the U.S. rose less than forecast in July, indicating companies are bracing for slowing demand.

The yen approached a post-World War II record against the dollar after separate data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stagnated in August as a lack of employment and limited income growth restrained demand, highlighting the risk the world’s biggest economy will stall.

The euro rose against the majority of its most-traded counterparts after Sarkozy and Merkel said Greece should remain in the euro zone, damping concerns of turmoil in the region. Against the euro, the yen weakened to 105.59 from 104.82.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 16 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 5.5 percent drop by the S&P 500 and a 19 percent loss by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 11.6 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 11.9 for the S&P 500 and 9.4 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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