Japanese Stock Futures, Australian Shares Are Little Changed

TOKYO: Japanese stock futures and Australian shares were little changed as Oracle Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd. reported higher-than-estimated earnings, while concern mounted that Europe's debt crisis will spread. American depositary receipts of
Wandrik Panca Adiguna | 20 Desember 2010 00:44 WIB

TOKYO: Japanese stock futures and Australian shares were little changed as Oracle Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd. reported higher-than-estimated earnings, while concern mounted that Europe's debt crisis will spread. American depositary receipts of Canon Inc., a Japanese camera maker that gets about 80% of its sales abroad, rose 0.3% from the closing share price in Tokyo. The euro weakened against the yen to its lowest level in almost two weeks, cutting the outlook for export earnings. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's No. 1 mining company and Australia's top oil producer, climbed 0.2 percent in Sydney today as commodity prices gained. "Worries about whether Europe has a system to handle debt crises may affect Japanese stocks through the currency," said Tomochika Kitaoka, a senior strategist in Tokyo at Mizuho Securities Co. Futures on Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 10,300 in Chicago on Dec. 17, compared with 10,290 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 10,290 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time today. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed today. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index lost 0.7 percent in Wellington. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.1 percent in New York on Dec. 17 to 1,243.91, its highest close since September 2008, as better-than-projected earnings forecasts at Oracle and Research In Motion plus the takeover of a regional bank overshadowed concern Europe's debt crisis will spread. European Debt European stocks fell on Dec. 17 as an agreement among the region's leaders to create a crisis-management mechanism failed to ease concern that some euro-area nations can't repay their debts. Ireland's credit rating was cut five levels by Moody's Investors Service on Dec. 17. Crude oil for January delivery rose 0.4 percent on Dec. 17, and the London Metal Exchange Index of six metals including copper and aluminum rallied 1 percent that day, the first gain in four days. The euro depreciated to as low as 110.40 against the yen today in Tokyo, its weakest level since Dec. 7. A weaker euro reduces the value of European income at Japanese companies when converted into their home currency. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 11 percent through yesterday in 2010, compared with gains of 12 percent by the S&P 500 and 8.9 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark were valued at 14.7 times estimated earnings on average at the close on Dec. 17, versus 14.6 times for the S&P 500 and 12.3 times for the Stoxx 600. (wiw)

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