Bloomberg News

Japanese Stock Futures Advance on U.S. Fed Stimulus Bets

August 12, 2012

Japanese and Australian stock futures gained on optimism the Federal Reserve will act to support the world’s biggest economy.

American depositary receipts of Nissan Motor Co. (7201), a Japanese carmaker that gets almost a third of its sales from North America, gained 0.9 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Shares of Seiko Holdings Corp. may be active after the watchmaker boosted its first-half earnings forecast. ADRs of BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest miner, climbed 1.3 percent after Dow Jones Newswires reported the firm will cut coal jobs in Australia.

Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in September closed at 8,925 in Chicago on Aug. 10, up from 8,870 in Osaka. They were bid in pre-market trading at 8,920 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures rose 0.4 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.2 percent in Wellington.

“The markets are moving on expectations for the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing,” said Kenichi Hirano, general manager and strategist at Tachibana Securities Co. in Tokyo. “There’s a mood that money is pouring into the stock markets from the bond markets.”

Gains in Japanese stocks may be limited by a report today that is forecast to show the nation’s economic growth rate halved last quarter.

Federal Reserve

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPXL1) were little changed today. The gauge rose 0.2 percent on Aug. 10 after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the lack of progress in reducing the unemployment rate and the slow economic recovery have convinced him it’s time to move ahead with a third round of asset purchases.

The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S rose 0.5 percent to 91.93 in New York on Aug. 10. 51job Inc. led a gain in the index as the Shanghai- based recruiting service forecast better-than-expected third- quarter profit, pushing Chinese stocks traded in New York to their best weekly performance of the year.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) fell 6.6 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 29 through Aug. 10 amid concern Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will worsen and China’s economy is slowing. The regional benchmark index traded at 12.4 times estimated earnings compared with 13.6 times for the S&P 500 Index and a multiple of 11.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of the 1,008 companies listed on the Asian benchmark gauge, about 150 firms are scheduled to post earnings this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 394 companies to have reported since July 1 that have issued forecasts, more than 40 percent beat expectations, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Japan’s Cabinet office is scheduled to release gross domestic product figures for the second quarter at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s GDP rose 2.3 percent in the three months ended June 30, compared with 4.7 percent in the first quarter, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

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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