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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (February 24, 2014)

February 24, 2014, Monday, 06:39 GMT | 01:39 EST | 11:09 IST | 13:39 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Ukraine opposition celebrated victory this weekend, toppling Yanukovych govt on Saturday and voting him out of office in a Parliament session later that night. Snap elections are called for late May - in the mean time, opposition named the newly appointed Parliament leader as interim president. Yanukovych fled the capital and his whereabouts remain unknown.
- G20 communique from Sydney broke new ground in terms of specifically targeting 2%+ increase in global GDP over the next 5 years through "ambitious but realistic" policies. G20 also noted growth in China was still solid and monetary policy in many advanced economies "needs to remain accommodative." Some of the emerging market representatives hinted about the impact of the start of US Fed taper, but for the most part Fed Chair Yellen dodged the criticism that many felt she may face for not acknowledging the global impact of the US monetary policy in her recent remarks.
- Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng are leading the regional indices lower; Property sector-related turmoil started with a press report that some of the China banks tightened their loans to property developers. Later in the day, China reported January home sales data that saw some pronounced slowing in pricing. Existing home price trends were particularly troubling, falling 0.1% m/m in Beijing (vs 0.5% prior) and rising just 0.1% in Shanghai (vs 0.6% prior). China's all-70 new home prices are up 9.6% y/y, down from 9.9% rate of growth in Nov and Dec. Vanke, Poly, and Gemdale - some of the top property development names in the industry - are down by at least 5% on the day.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- (JP) BOJ offers to buy ¥250B in 1-3 yr JGB, ¥250B in 3-5 yr JGB and ¥400B in 5-10 yr JGB
- (CN) China Qinhuangdao coal price falls to CNY555-565/t (6th consecutive decline; lowest since late Nov) - update
- (VE) Venezuela Pres Maduro: Venezuela would not send oil to US if he is defeated
- USD/CNY: (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1189 v 6.1176 prior setting (weakest setting since Dec 19th)

- Risk off flows supported the funding JPY currency at the expense of China-exposed AUD as well as NZD. NZD/USD traded down 25pps to $0.8260, AUD/USD fell about 50pips as low as $0.8940, and AUD/JPY pair declined nearly 60pips below ¥91.60. USD/JPY traded as low as 102.15, also about 50pips off its best levels on the day. EUR/USD traded sideways in a 15-pip range around $1.3730 amid the non-committal comments from ECB Pres Draghi. Chinese Yuan was also in the spotlight, with onshore trade sending CNY to its weakest level against the greenback in 3 months around 6.10 level.

***Speakers/Political/In the Papers***
- (CN) Some China banks said to have tightened loans to property developers - Chinese press
- (CN) Oversupply in China housing starts to plague larger cities - Chinese press
- (CN) PBoC: To narrow onshore and offshore Yuan rate to curb speculation; Believes in weaker Yuan to reduce "abundant liquidity" - financial press
- (CN) China Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM): China may see volatility in Q1 exports; Confident to maintain around same pace of growth in foreign trade in 2014; Not optimistic on outlook of China-Japan trade
- (CN) China Electricity Council: sees power use growth to slow; may rise 6.5-7.5% in 2014 - Chinese press
- (CN) Almost all provinces in central and east China face serious air pollution since last Friday; Teams of inspectors have been dispatched - financial press
- (CN) China Fin Min Lou: Tapering of easy policy by the Fed is positive for China; Shows world's biggest economy is improving - Xinhua
- (CN) China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) researcher: China should loosen intervention on currency; Shadow banking possess significant risk - China Daily
- (JP) Japan PM Abe: Japan Pension Fund (GPIF) should find ways for flexible and diversified management; restoring nominal GDP to ¥500T within sight - Japanese press
- (JP) Japan PM Abe cabinet approval rating at 53.9%, -2.0% from late-Jan - Kyodo News
- (JP) According to a Nikkei Inc survey, 44% of Japan's households are in favor of govt cutting corporate tax rates; 51% still insist on lowering reliance on nuclear power to zero - Nikkei
- (KR) South Korea Ministry of Land, Transport, Maritime Affairs (MLTM): Jan home construction rose 2.7% y/y to 24.6K permits for housing units - Korean press
- (NZ) New Zealand govt to increase adult minimum wage to NZ$14.25/hr; effective Apr 1st

- (UR) Ukraine Parliament votes to remove Pres Yanukovych from power and hold early presidential elections on May 25th; Opposition takes full control of capital of Kiev and the presidential office
- (UR) Ukraine's new parliament speaker Turchynov (ally of former PM Tymoshenko) appointed interim president

- G20 releases communique: Welcome recent signs of improvement, particularly in developed economies; Tail risks have diminished
- (EU) ECB Pres Draghi: March ECB meeting will be critical in its assessment of eurozone economy; Will have suffcient information on whether to add to stimulus - financial press
- (UK) BOE Gov Carney: Latest shift in forward guidance statement intended to assure that the central bank will support economic rebound - financial press
- (GR) Greece govt to resume talks with troika inspectors on Monday; Hopeful of a deal unlocking the next tranche of funds without further austerity demands - press
- (CY) Cyprus junior coalition party Diko withdraws support for the govt; May jeopardize Cyprus pledge to international creditors - financial press

Market Snapshot (as of 04:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 -1.2%, S&P/ASX -0.1%, Kospi -0.4%, Shanghai Composite -2.0%, Hang Seng -1.3%, Mar S&P500 -0.2% at 1,830, Apr gold -0.2% at $1,321, Apr crude oil +0.3% at $102.46/brl

US markets:
- NFLX: Said to have agreed to pay Comcast for direct access to film, TV shows - financial press
- MSFT: Said to be lowering the price of Windows 8.1 for manufacturers of low-cost computers and tablets by 70% - financial press
- AMZN: Said to raise price for Prime service in Germany on Feb 26th - press

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Belle International Holdings 1880.HK +3.0% (H1 results); Patties Foods PFL.AU +6.5% (H1 results)
- Financials: China Vanke 000002.CN -6.2%, China Merchants Property Dev 000024.CN -7.7%, Poly Real Estate Group 600048.CN -8.2%, Evergrande Real Estate 3333.HK -5.6% (China banks to tighten loans to property developers)
- Materials: Spark Infrastructure SKI.AU +1.1% (FY13 results)
- Energy: Caltex Australia CTX.AU +2.2% (FY13 results); Beach Energy BPT.AU +7.7% (H1 results)
- Industrials: Doosan Heavy 034020.KR +0.4% (FY14 guidance); Boart Longyear BLY.AU -13.5% (FY13 results)
- Technology: Shenzhen Laibao Hi-Tech 002106.CN +0.5% (Taiwan's TPK awarded touch panel order from Amazon)
- Healthcare: Zhejiang Jingxin Pharmaceutical 002020.CN +3.5% (prelim FY13 results)
- Telecom: M2 Telecommunications Group -2.0% (H1 results)

***Economic Data***
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND JAN CREDIT CARD SPENDING M/M: +1.0% V -0.7% PRIOR; Y/Y: +9.2% V +4.7% PRIOR (6-year high)
- (SG) SINGAPORE JAN CPI M/M: % V -0.3% PRIOR; Y/Y: 1.4% V 1.5% PRIOR
- (VN) VIETNAM FEB CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) M/M: 0.6% v 0.7% prior; Y/Y: 4.7% V 5.1%E