• Asian stock market, economy and companies update (September 18, 2015)

    Index Snapshot (as of 02:30 GMT)
    - Nikkei225 -1.3%, S&P/ASX +0.4%, Kospi +0.9%, Shanghai Composite -0.2%, Hang Seng +0.5%, Dec S&P500 +0.1% at 1,980

    Commodities/Fixed Income
    - Dec gold +0.9% at $1,127/oz, Oct crude oil -0.2% at $46.80/brl, Dec copper -0.5% at $2.44/lb
    - (CN) China MOF sells 1-yr bills, avg yield 2.31%
    - USD/CNY: (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.3607 v 6.3670 prior setting; strongest Yuan setting since Sept 7th
    - (JP) BOJ offers to buy 400B in 1-3yr JGBs, 400B in 3-5yr JGBs, and 20B in inflation-linked JGBs
    - (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$800M in 2.75% 2019Bonds; avg yield: 2.0313%; bid-to-cover: 3.92x

    Market Focal Points/FX
    - Going into Thursday's decision, analysts were largely divided on whether the Fed would outright raise rates for the first time in 9 years or hold with a more clearly expressed intentions for tightening. Few were expecting a hold with a more dovish bias, but that is precisely what the statement and the accompanying projections contained. Despite acknowledging continued improvement in labor, the Fed emphasized global uncertainty, slowdown in China, the strength of USD, and inflation "nowhere near" target. Economic Forecast saw cuts in GDP and PCE inflation outlook, and the "dot chart" saw median rate for 2016 and 2017 reduced by 25bps, and the long run by 30bps to 3.50%. Also telling, 2015 outlook now saw 13 out of 18 officials anticipate a liftoff - down from 15 prior - even though Chair Yellen maintained every remaining meeting in 2015 would be live for an increase.

    - Market reaction was mixed, as Treasuries rallied particularly on the short end and the yield curve steepened. US stocks initially spiked up but then ended at levels below pre-FOMC. USD was down sharply across the board, falling over 100pips below 119.90 in USD/JPY and through 1.1440 in EUR/USD. Commodity FX also initially spiked up but retreated in the waning hours of the US session. Asian markets are now tracking that caution as investors ponder whether the dovish tilt to the Fed outlook implies more speedbumps ahead.

    - China put out its housing prices that continued to recover. Across top 70 cities prices m/m were +0.6% (3rd straight increase) v +0.2% prior, while y/y the decline slowed to -2.3% v -3.7% prior (12th straight decline). HKMA chief Chan still expressed concern over local economy and property market, just as China Pres Xi reiterated the economy is resilient, with capacity to maintain medium to high growth rate in long term.

    - RBA Gov Stevens also straddled both sides of the fence, noting some improvement in non-mining sector, but overall economic growth below levels previously projected. AUD/USD was little changed on Stevens comments, even as he added that further decline in AUD would create a serious inflation problem as the currency has already made a big adjustment. On Australia's political front, approval rating for the ruling Coalition has topped that of opposition for the first time in 16 months in the wake of leadership transition this week.

    - In Japan, the BOJ released the minutes of its Aug meeting that saw members agree Japan economy will continue modest recovery and noted inflation expectations on the rise. Sentiment produced little market reaction, as it follows a more recent policy statement this week where the BOJ cut its assessment of exports and output. Also of note, high-profile former MoF official Sakakibara said continued Yen weakness is unlikely, and that there's greater chance of a move to 115-120 range then to 125 level.

    US equities / ADRs:
    - AKS: Guides Q3 -$0.07 to -$0.02 v -$0.26e; cites higher shipments and lower costs; +13.2% afterhours
    - TXN: Increases dividend 12% to $0.38 from $0.34 and authorizes $7.5 billion in share repurchases (15% of market cap); +1.0% afterhours
    - ADBE: Reports Q3 $0.54 v $0.49e, R$1.22B v $1.21Be; Guides Q4 $0.56-0.62 v $0.65e, R$1.275-1.325B v $1.37Be; -2.1% afterhours
    - LQ: Cuts FY15 pro forma adj EBITDA $393-400M, RevPAR growth +3.5-4.5% (prior $398-404M, RevPar +4.5-5.5%); accelerates $100M of $200M share repurchase program (4% of market cap); -5.4 % afterhours

    Notable movers by sector:
    - Consumer discretionary: Sydney Airport SYD.AU +1.7% (Aug result); Asics Corp 7936.JP -5.3%(lowers guidance)
    - Financials: Premier Investments PMV.AU -1.4% (FY15 result); Seven & I Holdings 3382.JP +2.8% (speculation on Q2 and store close); Cheung Kong Property Holdings 1113.HK +2.0% (guidance); China Merchants Land 978.HK +7.5% (China Merchant Property's integration); Biostime International 1112.HK +28.0% (acquisition)
    - Industrials: Boral BLD.AU +1.5% (enters into settlement); Mitsubishi Motors 7211.JP -1.3% (vehicle recalls)
    - Technology: Veda Group VED.AU +0.1% (Equifax shows interest to acquire)
    - Materials: Arrium ARI.AU -1.1% (update on bid for unit)
    -Energy: Woodside Petroleum WPL.AU -0.7% (speculation to consider raising debt)
    - Utilities: SDIC Power Holdings Co 600886.CN -10.0% (private placement)

    Economic Data
    - (KR) South Korea Aug PPI M/M: -0.5% v -0.4% prior; Y/Y: -4.4% (13th straight decline) v -4.0% prior
    - (US) NORTH AMERICA AUG SEMI BOOK/BILL RATIO: 1.06 V 1.02 PRIOR; 2nd month above parity

    Contributed by Trade The News
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