Japanese and Australian stock futures were unchanged ahead of reports today that are forecast to show China’s economy is slowing. Shares may fall in Tokyo after the yen rose yesterday following the Bank of Japan’s decision to refrain from boosting monetary stimulus.
American depositary receipts of Canon Inc. (7751), the world’s biggest camera maker, lost 1.8 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), Australia’s largest miner and oil producer, rose 0.3 percent as crude prices gained. Shares of Dentsu Inc. may be active after the Japanese advertising company agreed to buy Britain’s Aegis Group Plc in a 3.16 billion pound ($4.9 billion) deal.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) expiring in September closed at 8,700 in Chicago yesterday, unchanged from the closing level in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre- market at 8,700 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index were unchanged today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.2 percent in Wellington.
“Concern is mounting about a slowdown in the global economy,” said Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage. “Should Chinese data slow more than expected, that would boost bets about policy measures such as interest-rate cuts and public investment.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) rose 0.1 percent today. The index fell 0.5 percent in New York yesterday, dropping for a sixth day, the longest losing streak since May 18.
A government report today will show China’s economic growth rate fell below 8 percent for the first time since 2009, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Reports on industrial production and retail sales are also due today.
China’s new loans beat estimates in June, boosting odds the government will secure an economic rebound after growth probably slowed for a sixth quarter. Banks extended 919.8 billion yuan ($144.3 billion) of local-currency loans, the People’s Bank of China said yesterday. That compares with the 880 billion yuan median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
The yen rose against all of its 16 major counterparts yesterday after the Bank of Japan refrained from expanding monetary stimulus. A stronger yen reduces the value of exporters’ offshore income when repatriated.
The BOJ expanded its asset-purchase program to 45 trillion yen ($564 billion) from 40 trillion yen. The loan facility was cut to 25 trillion yen from 30 trillion yen.
Crude oil for August delivery gained 27 cents to settle at $86.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) gained 0.7 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 6.1 percent advance by the S&P 500 and a 3.4 percent increase by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark are valued at 11.7 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 12.8 times for the S&P 500 and 10.6 times for the Stoxx 600.
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