TOKYO: Japanese stock futures and Australian shares rose as higher oil and metal prices boosted commodity shares, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index recovered to its level before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
American depositary receipts of Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest carmaker, gained 0.5% from the closing share price in Tokyo. Komatsu Ltd., the world's second-largest maker of earthmoving machines, climbed 0.6% in Tokyo. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's No. 1 mining company and Australia's biggest oil producer, advanced 0.5% percent in Sydney today. "U.S. economic indicators continue to exceed expectations and the U.S. economy is on a recovery trend," said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc. "The global economic recovery, surplus money and confidence in government measures are boosting commodity prices." Futures on Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in March closed at 10,380 in Chicago yesterday, compared with 10,350 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 10,370 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time today. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3% today and New Zealand's NZX 50 Index both climbed 0.2%. Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were little changed. The index rose 0.6% yesterday in New York to 1,254.60, surpassing its closing level on Sept. 12, 2008, the last trading day before Lehman filed the world's biggest bankruptcy. (wiw)
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