Bloomberg News

Japanese Stock Futures, Australian Stocks Rise on Greece, Italy

November 13, 2011

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stock futures and Australian shares rose amid optimism new governments in Greece and Italy will help contain Europe’s debt crisis, boosting investor confidence in riskier assets.

American depositary receipts of Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, rose 0.8 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Komatsu Ltd., a Japanese machinery maker that gets 23 percent of its sales in China, gained 1 percent after two of China’s best-known economists said the country’s economy will have a “soft landing.” BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s No. 1 mining company, rose 0.7 percent.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 8,595 in Chicago on Nov. 11, up from 8,500 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,600 in Osaka, at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.3 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.6 percent in Wellington.

“The situation in Greece has dramatically improved with the appointment of a unity government out there, and Italy looks like it’s getting close to a resolution,” said Angus Gluskie, who manages more than $350 million at White Funds Management in Sydney. “Two of the largest concerns of the market are being partially taken off the table.”

Italy, Greece

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2 percent on Nov. 11 in New York after Italy approved debt reduction plans. Mario Monti, former European Union competition commissioner, will lead a new government in Italy after the region’s debt crisis led to the unraveling of a coalition led by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Futures on the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent today.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said the country’s new government must implement decisions from an Oct. 26 European summit to receive more loans and avoid default.

Two of China’s best-known economists, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min and National Economic Research Institute Director Fan Gang, said the country’s economy was heading for a “soft landing” as growth slows. They spoke at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Honolulu yesterday.

Japan’s gross domestic product probably grew at an annualized 5.9 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30 after three consecutive quarters of contraction, according to the median forecast of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The data is due today at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 15 percent this year through last week, compared with a 0.5 percent gain by the S&P 500 and a 12.6 percent loss by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12.7 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.8 times for the S&P 500 and 10.4 times for the Stoxx 600.

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum rose 1.8 percent on Nov. 11.

--Editor: Jason Clenfield.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at ynohara1@bloomberg.net

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


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