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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (April 07, 2014)

April 7, 2014, Monday, 04:56 GMT | 23:56 EST | 08:26 IST | 10:56 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- World Bank cut its forecast for China GDP by a decimal to 7.6% in 2014 while also affirming its 2015 forecast at 7.5%, reflecting a "bumpy start to the year". Specifically, World Bank noted slowing growth rate of industrial production and contraction in exports, but also said it expects "quarterly growth to rise at midyear as external demand from the high-income countries solidifies." For the developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region, World Bank also cut its 2014 and 2015 targets to 7.1% from 7.2% previously expected.

- Australia AiG construction index rose 2 points but remains in contraction territory for the 3rd consecutive month. Note that this is also the 3rd of the AiG-tracked sector reports, and all three (other being services and manufacturing) are now in contraction territory. In its accompanying commentary, AiG research team said house building activity stabilised, with the sectors rate of growth only marginal, but contraction was particularly evident in engineering construction. A closely followed component of employment of the report said conditions deteriorated for a fourth consecutive month in March, and at steeper rate than in February. Later in the day, Australia ANZ jobs ads saw a modest m/m increase of 1.4% ahead of the widely anticipated official employment data from Australia this Thursday.

- In Japan, local press report assessed the early impact of higher sales tax, noting "car dealerships and department stores saw a noticeable drop in business the first weekend after the 5% consumption tax went up to 8%, but electronics retailers fared less badly than they had feared." Late last week, PM Abe's economic adviser Honda reiterated his support for BOJ to undertake additional easing, while a research report from SocGen forecasted BOJ would announce fresh measures at its Apr 30th meeting. Note that the BOJ will also make a policy announcement in tomorrow's session.

- Over the weekend, tensions have flared up once again in Ukraine, as protesters in the eastern cities seized several administrative buildings and demanded a referendum. Ukraine's interior min Avakov said he will order the police to peacefully restore order, blaming Russian Pres Putin for the provocations. Separately, Ukraine interim PM Yatseniuk denounced last week's gas price hike by Russia's Gazprom as unacceptable, warning that Ukraine should now prepare for the possibilities of Russia halting deliveries.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- (JP) BOJ offers to buy ¥400B in 5-10yr JGB and ¥170B in JGB with maturity over 10-yr as well as ¥450B in CP
- GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall 1.8 tonnes to 809.2 tonnes (lowest since Mar 7th)

- USD majors are little changed, with slightly more pronounced moves coming after the World Bank cut of China GDP. AUD/USD is off by about 20 pips from its best levels below $0.9280, while NZD/USD retreated back below $0.86 after rising as high as $0.8615. USD/JPY is in a 20pip range around ¥103.30 while EUR/USD is in a 10pip range around $1.37.

US markets:
- CTRP: Hearing rumors Baidu to fully acquire; Baidu said to integrate and after acquisition - Chinese press
- SYMC: Said to be seeking to hire an advisor to protect against activist investors following reports on 3/27 that an activist investor could be seeking to effect change at the company - financial press

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Kwoon Chung Bus Holdings 306.HK +25.5% (sales, purchase agreement); Toray Industries 3402.JP -1.2% (acquires asset)
- Financials: Future Land Development Holdings 1030.HK +1.2% (Mar sales results); WesFarmers Ltd WES.AU +0.9% (to sell asset); Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited 388.HK +0.5% (speculation of interconnection with mainland exchanges)
- Energy: CNOOC 883.HK +1.5% (speculation on asset sale); Sunshine Oilsands 2012.HK -12.7% (announces strategic financial plans)
- Industrials: Kai Shui International Holdings 822.HK -2.3% (FY13 results); Great Wall Motor 2333.HK +2.0% (Mar sales results)
- Technology: TCL Corp 1070.HK +4.1% (to launch game console)

***Economic Data***
- (AU) AUSTRALIA MAR ANZ JOB ADS M/M: 1.4% V 4.7% PRIOR (2nd consecutive rise)
- (TW) TAIWAN MAR CPI Y/Y: 1.6% V 1.0%E; WPI Y/Y: 0.2% V 0.3%E
- (NZ) New Zealand Mar QV House Prices Y/Y: 8.8% (6-month low) v 9.3% prior

Market Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 -1.3%, S&P/ASX -0.2%, Kospi -0.2%, Shanghai Composite closed, Hang Seng -0.4%, Jun S&P500 -0.1% at 1,859, Jun gold -0.1% at $1,302, May crude oil -0.3% at $100.85/brl