Bloomberg News

Japanese Stock Futures, Australian Stocks Fall on European Risk

December 12, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stock futures and Australian stocks fell after ratings companies said last week’s European summit did little to resolve the debt crisis, damping investor demand for riskier assets.

American depositary receipts of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Japan’s third-largest bank by market value, fell 3.1 percent from the closing price in Tokyo. Those of Advantest Corp., a maker of memory-chip testers, slid 2.2 percent after Intel Corp. cut its sales forecast. Rio Tinto Group, an Australian mining company, lost 1.9 percent after oil and commodity prices fell.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 8,545 in Chicago yesterday, down from 8,620 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,530 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.7 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index declined 0.4 percent in Wellington.

“Nothing new came of last week’s European summit,” said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, a strategist at Tokyo-based SMBC Friend Securities Co. “If EU nations get downgraded, funding costs in the region will definitely rise.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent today. The index slid 1.5 percent in New York yesterday after Moody’s Investors Service said last week’s European summit didn’t produce “decisive” measures to end the crisis. Fitch Ratings, which predicted a “significant economic downturn” in the region, said the summit did little to ease pressure on Europe’s sovereign bond ratings.

Intel Cuts Forecast

Asian manufacturers of semiconductors and chipmaking- equipment may decline today after Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, cut its sales forecast. The Santa-Clara, California- based company said flooding in Thailand had caused a shortage of hard-disk drives that is forcing computer makers to cut orders for other parts.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 16 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 1.7 percent drop by the S&P 500 and a 14 percent loss by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 12.8 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.5 times for the S&P 500 and 10.3 times for the Stoxx 600.

Crude oil for January delivery fell $1.64 to $97.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Nov. 25. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials fell 1.2 percent for a fourth day yesterday.

--Editors: Jason Clenfield, Brian Fowler

To contact the reporters on this story: Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at; Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at

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