Bloomberg News

Japanese Futures Gain on Manufacturing Growth in U.S., Europe

February 01, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stock futures and Australian equities rose as manufacturing gained in the U.S. and Europe, boosting confidence the global economy is recovering.

American depositary receipts of Sony Corp., Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, gained 1.6 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Nomura Holdings Inc. jumped 2.8 percent after the brokerage posted an unexpected quarterly profit on sales of investments. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company by sales, rose 2.8 percent in Sydney after metals prices increased.

“We got more confirmation that business confidence in the U.S. and Europe is improving” said Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $600 million at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo. “The European debt crisis is in a temporary lull, so stocks sensitive to the economy will have a chance to gain.”

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 8,845 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 8,790 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 8,850 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.9 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.7 percent in Wellington.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent today. The measure advanced gained 0.9 percent in New York yesterday after reports showed manufacturing in the U.S. grew at the fastest pace in seven months, while a gauge of U.K. manufacturing gauge jumped to an eight-month high and German output grew for the first time since September.

‘One Step Closer’

The Greek government is “one step from closing” a debt- swap deal with its private bondholders, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters in Athens yesterday.

The euro strengthened to as high as 100.70 yen today in Tokyo, compared with 99.61 yen at the close of stock trading yesterday, boosting the value of some overseas income at Japanese companies.

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial commodities including copper and aluminum gained 1.2 percent yesterday, snapping a three-day losing streak.

Bloomberg China-US 55 Index of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S gained 1.6 percent to 104.96 in New York, the highest since Sept. 7. Commodity producers led by Cnooc Ltd. widened premiums over Hong Kong shares on signs global manufacturing is strengthening.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 8.1 percent this year through yesterday, compared with increases of 5.3 percent by the S&P 500 and 6.1 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 1.3 times book value. That compares with 2.2 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in the U.S. and 1.5 times for the Europe Stoxx 600 Index in Europe.

--Editor: Jason Clenfield

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at nkuboyama@bloomberg.net; Masaaki Iwamoto in Tokyo at miwamoto4@bloomberg.net

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


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