Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese and Australian stock futures fell as a likely delay in the release of aid to Greece sparked speculation governments in Europe will fail to act decisively to contain the region’s sovereign debt crisis.
American depositary receipts of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest publically traded lender, dropped 2.7 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Sony Corp., which depends on Europe for about a fifth of its sales, fell 1.9 percent. ADRs of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer, declined 0.9 percent after crude prices slid last week to the lowest in more than a month.
“There’s concern that Europe’s debt crisis will spread to the financial system and we’ll see Lehman crisis part II,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo. “Stocks are falling as concern builds that the global economy is slowing. A sell-off in shares sensitive to the economy, such as commodity-related stocks, reflects investors’ fears.”
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,445 in Chicago on Sept. 23. Markets in Japan were closed on Sept. 23 for a public holiday. Shares were bid in the pre-market at 8,320 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.2 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.2 percent in Wellington.
German Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen said euro- region finance ministers won’t be in a position to decide on the disbursement of the next tranche of aid to Greece when they meet on Oct. 3 because a report by the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission has been delayed.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.8 percent today. In New York, the index the index rose 0.6 percent on Sept. 23 amid speculation that policy makers will act to prevent a global financial crisis from getting worse.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 19 percent this year through Sept. 23, compared with a 9.6 percent drop by the S&P 500 and 22 percent loss by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark were valued at 11.3 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 11.4 times for the S&P 500 and 9.1 times for the Stoxx 600.
Crude for November delivery last week slid 9.2 percent to the lowest settlement since Aug. 9. Oil futures increased as much as 1.3 percent today, climbing for the first day in four.
--With assistance from Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo. Editors: Jason Clenfield,
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