Monday, March 3, 2008

Japanese Stock Futures Climb After Oil, Gold Reach Record Highs

By Patrick Rial

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stock futures rose in Chicago after prices for commodities including oil, gold and copper advanced to records, boosting the profit outlook for trading companies such as Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui generates more than half of its earnings from commodities dealing. Citigroup Inc. boosted its iron ore forecast for 2008 by 30 percent yesterday, which could lift Mitsui's net income by 65 billion yen, the brokerage said. U.S.-traded receipts of larger rival Mitsubishi Corp. jumped 2.4 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo yesterday.

Futures also gained after the yen halted its advance against the dollar, alleviating concern that exporters' earnings will be damped by a stronger domestic currency.

Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures expiring in March last traded in Chicago at 13,145, up from 12,990 in Osaka and 13,010 in Singapore. The Bank of New York Japan ADR Index, which tracks the nation's American depositary receipts, was little changed.

``Rising prices for oil and other commodities translate into more profits for trading houses and mining companies,'' Terunobu Kinoshita, president of market advisory firm Kinoshitaterunobu Office, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. ``However, we can't ignore that this is going to cut into earnings of other companies.''

Yesterday, the Nikkei tumbled 4.5 percent to 12,992.18, and the Topix index dropped 4 percent to 1,271.15, the biggest slide in a month for both gauges.

No comments: