Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese and Australian stock futures rose after U.S. initial jobless claims fell more than estimated and German lawmakers backed an enhanced euro-region rescue fund, improving the earnings outlook for Asian exporters.
American depositary receipts of NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile-phone operator by market value, rose 0.9 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Advantest Corp., a maker of memory-chip testers, fell 0.4 percent after a drop by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which tracks the performance of 30 industry stocks. ADRs of Telstra Corp., Australia’s biggest telephone company, rose 0.3 percent, and Alumina Ltd., a resources company, climbed 0.9 percent.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,730 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 8,710 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,720 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.3 percent in Wellington.
“Slightly positive economic data in the U.S. lifted the mood,” said Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc. “We got a reprieve for Europe’s debt crisis.”
Japan’s industrial production rose 1.5 percent in August after advancing 0.4 percent in July, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the government releases the data today.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.2 percent today. In New York, the index rose 0.8 percent yesterday after applications for jobless benefits dropped by 37,000 last week to 391,000, the fewest since April, Labor Department figures showed. Economists forecast 420,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.
A separate report showed the U.S. economy grew at a 1.3 percent pace in the second quarter, faster than initially estimated, helped by exports and spending on services.
Global equities advanced yesterday after Germany’s lower house of parliament approved the expansion of the European bailout fund. The bill’s passage by Europe’s biggest economy allows euro-area officials to weigh further measures to bolster Greece in its sovereign-debt crisis and stem investor concern.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 17 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 7.7 percent drop by the S&P 500 and a 17 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 11.7 times for the S&P 500 and 9.6 times for the Stoxx 600.
--Editor: John McCluskey.
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