Australia Stocks, Japan Futures Fall on U.S. Sales; G-20 Summit

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) — Australia shares and Japan’s stock futures fell after U.S. retail sales dropped the most on record and a leaders’ meeting from the Group of 20 nations didn’t produce specific measures to combat the global financial crisis.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, retreated 2.2 percent in Sydney. U.S.-traded receipts of Sony Corp. and Canon Inc. both lost 1.6 percent from the closing price in Tokyo on Nov. 14 after U.S. spending slowed and the yen appreciated against the dollar, reducing the value of repatriated overseas sales.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.4 percent to 3,695.50 as of 10:22 a.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.7 percent to 2,749.21 in Wellington. In New York, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 4.2 percent on Nov. 14.

“U.S. retail sales, the outcome of the G-20 meeting and the yen’s exchange rate point to a drop in today’s stock market,” Tomochika Kitaoka, a Tokyo-based strategist at Mizuho Securities Co., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “The G-20 failed to meet investors’ expectations.”

Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures expiring in December closed at 8,450 in Chicago, lower than 8,515 in Singapore and down from 8,480 in Osaka. The Bank of New York Mellon Asia ADR Price Index, which tracks American depositary receipts of the region’s companies, slid 6.6 percent.

Financial companies across the globe are hoarding cash and tightening credit in the face of soaring costs to dispose of bad loans. With consumer confidence in the U.S., Europe and Japan sinking to the lowest in at least 15 years, more than half of Japan’s biggest companies have cut their full-year earnings targets, according to Shinko Research Institute Co.

Toyota’s Target

U.S. retail sales fell 2.8 percent last month, the biggest monthly slide since records began in 1992, the Commerce Department said on Nov. 14. Car sales are among the most affected as banks make it harder to borrow, with demand at automobile dealerships and parts stores dropping 5.5 percent.

A slump in demand is spreading from North America to emerging markets, prompting Toyota Motor Corp. to cut its global sales forecast for 2009 to less than 9 million vehicles from 9.7 million, the Tokyo Shimbun reported yesterday. The company will announce the revised forecast next month, the newspaper said.

On Nov. 15, leaders from the biggest developed and emerging nations urged a “broader policy response,” citing the potential for additional interest-rate cuts and fiscal stimulus, after meeting in Washington. The group set a March deadline for recommendations on strengthening accounting standards, derivatives markets and oversight of hedge funds and debt-rating companies.

Meanwhile, the yen appreciated against the dollar to as much as 95.88 today from 97.07 at the close of stock trading in Tokyo on Nov. 14, while strengthening against the euro to as much as 120.19 from 123.68. A 1 yen change against the dollar alters Canon’s annual operating profit by 2.6 billion yen, the company said on Oct. 27.

At 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo, the Cabinet Office is scheduled to release a report on Japan’s third-quarter gross domestic product. Economists estimate the economy grew an annualized 0.1 percent.

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