Bloomberg News

Japan Stock Futures Fall as Bailout Delay Revives Debt Concern

February 15, 2012

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stock futures and Australian equities fell after a decision on a second bailout for Greece was postponed, reviving concern about Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.

American depositary receipts of Canon Inc., the world’s biggest camera maker that gets 32 percent of its revenue in Europe, fell 0.9 percent. ADRs of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest lender, slid 1.4 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s No. 1 mining company, lost 1.8 percent after metal prices dropped.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 9,235 in Chicago yesterday, down from 9,270 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,230 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.1 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed in Wellington.

“There’s a persistent concern that creditors may have to pardon parts of debt not only for Greece, but also for other South European nations,” said Toshiaki Iwasaki, an analyst at Mito Securities Co. “Technical indicators show Japan’s stocks are being overbought, and we should see a sell-off as investors take profits.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.1 percent today. The index slid 0.5 percent in New York yesterday as European officials delayed a decision on a 130-billion euro ($170 billion) bailout for Greece until at least Feb. 20 and possibly until after Greek elections later in the year.

Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks also declined after the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month showed policy makers were divided on additional asset purchases to spur economic growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 11.8 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 6.8 percent advance by the S&P 500 and an 8 percent gain by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 14.5 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.9 times for the S&P 500 and 10.9 times for the Stoxx 600.

Aluminum Corp of China Ltd. led gains among state- controlled companies traded in the U.S. as China pledged to help Europe overcome its debt crisis. The Bloomberg China-U.S. 55 Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. gained 0.9 percent to 107.52 yesterday in New York, the highest level since Aug. 3.

The London Metal Exchange Index of prices for six industrial metals including copper and aluminum fell 0.5 percent yesterday.

--Editors: John McCluskey, Jason Clenfield

To contact the reporters on this story: Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at ynohara1@bloomberg.net; Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at skawano1@bloomberg.net

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


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