Japanese stock futures fell after better-than-forecast U.S. payrolls failed to keep commodity prices from slumping and Americans prepared to elect their president tomorrow. Australian equities were little changed.
American Depositary Receipts of Komatsu Ltd. (6301), the second- biggest maker of construction and mining equipment, slid 1.1 percent. Alumina Ltd. advanced 0.5 percent in Sydney as Bank of America Corp. advised buying shares of the resource producer. Shares of Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA) may be active after the world’s second-largest carrier by market value posted a worse- than-estimated 54 percent drop in quarterly profit.
Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 9,005 in Chicago Nov. 2, down from 9,060 in Osaka. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,020 in Osaka, at 8:05 a.m. local time. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) gained less than 0.1 percent today and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index retreated 0.2 percent in Wellington.
“The U.S. Election cycle is heading for a conclusion and that will be a welcome sign for markets,” said George Boubouras, Melbourne-based head of investment strategy at UBS AG’s Australian wealth-management unit. The Swiss bank oversees about $1.5 trillion. “Policy uncertainty, particularly fiscal and regulatory, has held the market back to date.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed. The S&P 500 dropped 0.9 percent on Nov. 2 as the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of raw materials retreated 1.6 percent, the biggest slide in a month.
Shares declined in the U.S. even after the Labor Department said a net 171,000 workers were added to payrolls last month and September’s gain was more than first estimated. The increase surpassed the most optimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey in which the median called for an advance of 125,000. Unemployment rose to 7.9 percent.
With less than forty-eight hours before Election Day, President Barack Obama and opponent Mitt Romney are making a final push to woo voters.
The MSCI Asia Pacific (MXAP) Index gained 7.6 percent this year as central banks in Europe, the U.S., Japan and China added stimulus measures to counter a global economic slowdown and the European debt crisis. The index traded at about 13.5 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
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