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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (April 02, 2013)

April 2, 2013, Tuesday, 05:34 GMT | 00:34 EST | 09:04 IST | 11:34 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


***Markets Snapshot (as of 04:30 GMT)***
- Nikkei225 -0.9%
- S&P/ASX +0.4%
- Kospi -0.5%
- Shanghai Composite -0.4%
- Hang Seng flat
- June S&P500 flat at 1,556
- Jun gold +0.1% at $1,603/oz
- May Crude Oil -0.3% at $96.77/brl

***Observations/Insights***
- The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left its key Cash Target Rate unchanged at 3.00% as widely expected, reiterating that the inflation outlook would afford scope to ease policy further, should it be necessary. The central bank forecasted global growth to be a little below average for a time, but also continued to note reduced downside risks. Most notably, RBA had removed the reference to substantial easing of policy as a result of previous decisions in the pipeline.

- Asian markets started off mixed with the Nikkei225 underperforming, briefly dropping to below the 12,000 level for the first time in about a month. Japanese stocks declined by as much as 2.7% before trimming most the losses by the mid-trading session. Initial gains are fuelled by JPY strength against the reeling USD, which fell across the board after a soft US ISM figure. The markets are also maintaining their cautious tone ahead of the central bank meetings in Japan and Europe later this week.

***Currencies/Fixed Income/Commodities***
- GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall by 4.2 tons to 1,217.1 ton (lowest since 1,205.4 tons in Jul, 2011)
- (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.2586 v 6.2080 prior close (highest setting since 2005 revaluation)
- (CN) China PBoC to sell CNY30B in 28-day repos (draining liquidity) - financial press
- (AU) Australia Newcastle weekly coal exports for week ended Apr 1st: +26.4% w/w

- USD/JPY - The USD fell briefly in the ¥92 range for the first time in about a month during early Tokyo session; the JPY strengthened against all major currencies.
- EUR/JPY - The EUR was little changed in the upper 119 range ahead of the ECB policy meeting on Thursday.
- AUD/USD little changed following the RBA rate decision, initially rising some 15 pips above $1.0470 before falling back toward $1.0450.

***Speakers/Political/In the Papers***
- (AU) Fitch: Australia utility firms to face increased uncertainties in 2013 - financial press
- (AU) Moody's: Australia mortgage arrears deteriorated in Jan - financial press

- (CN) China mortgage rules for second homes may vary between cities - Chinese press
- (CN) China home sales expected to fall -50% after new policy - China press
- (CN) China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS): China March CPI likely grew 2.5% v 3.2% in Feb (10-month high) - Chinese press
- (CN) China Vice Commerce Min Chen Jian: China to actively seek free trade zone with South Korea, Japan - financial press

- (JP) Japan BoJ Gov Kuroda: To mind the two-year time frame to achieve price target - addressing parliament
- (JP) Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER): Japan's Real FEB GDP estimated at -0.1% m/m v +0.2% prior; 1st decline in 3 months - Nikkei News
- (JP) Japan Fin Min Aso: Wants BoJ to act in line with joint BoJ-govt statement - financial press
- (JP) BOJ Deputy Governor Iwata: Need to be accountable if 2% CPI target not met in two years - addressing Parliament

- (KR) North Korea's Kim: Must continue to develop lighter nuclear weapons - KCNA

- (GR) Greece Central Bank Gov Provopoulos: Believes Cyprus solution is sustainable; reiterates Greece deposits are under no threat of loss; Deposits were not and will not be touched.
- (ES) Spain govt reportedly to lower 2013 GDP forecasts to -1.0% vs -0.5% prior - financial press
- (CY) Creditors said to be weakening terms for Cyprus to allow it an extra year to come in line with its budget targets - financial press

- (US) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2014 rate announcement and final call letter for Medicare Advantage (MA) and prescription drug benefit (Part D) programs
- (MX) Mexico Finance Ministry releases budget forecast: Reaffirms 2013 GDP at 3.5%, forecasts 2014 GDP at 4.0% - financial press

***Equities***
- AMSC: Guides Q4 Rev $19-20M v $28Me (previously guided "to exceed $18M" on 2/11)
- BGCP: NASDAQ to acquire eSpeed Platform for Trading of U.S. Treasuries from BGC Partners for $750M; +42.6% after hours
- URBN: Sees Q1 FY14 comparable retail net sales so far are high single-digit positive - 10k filing; +4.4% after hours

- Osaka Securities Exchange - 8697.JP: FY12 derivatives trading volume at 236.0M units (record high) - Kyodo News


***Economic Data***
- (AU) RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA (RBA) LEAVES CASH TARGET RATE UNCHANGED AT 3.00%, AS EXPECTED
- (JP) JAPAN FEB LABOR CASH EARNINGS Y/Y: -0.7% V -0.2%E
- (AU) AUSTRALIA MAR AIG PERFORMANCE OF MANUFACTURING INDEX (PMI): 44.4 V 45.6 PRIOR (13th consecutive months of contraction)
- (AU) AUSTRALIA MAR RPDATA-RISMARK HOUSE PX ACTUAL Y/Y: 1.3% V 0.3% PRIOR
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND Q1 WESTPAC EMPLOYMENT CONFIDENCE INDEX: 100.7 V 99.1 PRIOR
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND MAR ANZ COMMODITY PRICE: 7.4% V 1.1% PRIOR
- (JP) JAPAN MAR MONETARY BASE Y/Y: 19.8% V 15.0% PRIOR (2-year high)
- (UK) UK MAR LLOYD'S BUSINESS BAROMETER: 20 V 13 PRIOR