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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (June 16, 2014)

June 16, 2014, Monday, 05:05 GMT | 00:05 EST | 08:35 IST | 11:05 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Energy and safehaven precious metals are bid higher to start the week while equities are under pressure with Middle East and Ukraine conflicts increasingly resembling a full-blown civil war. Despite the reports of a counter-attack by govt-forces in Iraq, ISIS fighters are still perceived to be on the offensive. Rebels had reportedly extended their attacks to the west of the country and posted photos of mass Shia soldier executions, prompting the US Navy to move an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf and for Pentagon to actually contemplate joint efforts with its arch-enemy Iran to deal with the Iraq conflict. Also over the weekend, a suicide explosion in Baghdad killed 9 people, forcing US embassy to boost its security and move some staff out of the country. July crude oil contract opened up $0.70, reaching $107.50/brl high in electronic trade.

- Tensions are also high in east Ukraine where rebels downed a govt military supply plane and killing 49 army personnel, presumably with some of the anti-aircraft weapons alleged to have been shipped from Russia. In response, a mob of protesters in Kiev attacked the Russian embassy while Ukraine foreign min Deshchytsia drew ire from his Russian counterpart for publicly cursing Putin. It was hardly surprising when talks between Gazprom and Ukraine negotiators over gas prices broke down again on Sunday with just hours to go to the 6amGMT deadline before gas shipments are halted. US State Dept scolded the Kiev authorities for doing little to stop the attack on Russian embassy, calling on Ukraine to provide adequate security for the diplomatic mission.

- In weekend M&A, Medtronic confirmed earlier speculation that it will acquire Covidien for $42.9B in cash and stock. Bidding war for France's Alstom also shifted into higher gear - Japanese press reported Mitsubishi Heavy may take a direct stake of about 10% in the company, while French Fin Min Sapin said GE may also improve on its $17B offer.

***Speakers/Political/In the Papers***
- (CN) PBoC academic: China economy manages soft landing; growth still within controllable range - Chinese press
- (CN) China National Energy Administration (NEA): China May power consumption +5.3% y/y, up from 4.6% in April - Shanghai Daily
- (AU) Australia Housing Industry Association (HIA): New home building to reach 2nd highest level on record in 2014 - Australian press
- (AU) HSBC chief economist Bloxham: AUD is behaving more like a safe-haven asset; Investors may be flocking to Australian debt or currency because of its AAA status - SMH
- (NZ) New Zealand Fin Min English: Economy is not as dependent on the dairy industry as critics believe - NZ press
- (NZ) New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Raises outlook for 2014/15 growth to 3.8% from 3.1% prior in Mar; sees growth in 2016 at 2.8%, 2017 at 2.1% - financial press
- (EU) ECB's Weidmann: Rejects calls from France and Italy for a deliberate devaluation of the euro - German press
- (UK) BOE's Bean: Higher interest rates should be welcomed as a sign that Britain's economy is returning to normal

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- (JP) BOJ offers to buy ¥300B in 1-3 yr JGB , ¥200B in 3-5yr JGB and ¥400B in 5-10yr JGB as well as ¥450B in CP and 1.0T in T-bills
- (KR) South Korea (MoF) sells 10-yr govt bonds at average yield of 3.315%
- GLD: Spot gold rises above $1,280/oz; 2-week high
- SLV: Spot silver rises above $19.80; 1-month high
- USD/CNY: PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1537 v 6.1503 prior setting (weakest setting since Jun 6th)

US markets:
- LMT: Pentagon said to have temporarily grounded the entire F-35 fighter jet fleet due to engine problems - financial press
- COV: Medtronic confirms it will acquire Covidien for $42.9B in cash, stock; deal accretive to Medtronic FY16 earnings and significantly accretive thereafter

- ALO.FR: Follow-up: Mitsubishi Heavy may take an increased stake of about 10% (from Bouygues) as part of partnership in a bid with Siemens - Nikkei
- SKYD.DE: BSkyB said to be looking to acquire Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in a €10B deal - financial press

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Huiyin Household Appliances 1280.HK +7.7% (enters online lottery business); Echo Entertainment Group EGP.AU +6.9% (issues trading update); Shimamura 8227.JP -2.0% (speculation on Q1 results); Flight Centre Limited FLT.AU +2.7% (JV deal);
- Materials: Zhejiang Weixing New Building Materials 002372.CN +5.1%, Xinjiang Guotong Pipeline 002205.CN +3.0%, Ningxia Qinglong Pipes Industry 002457.CN +5.7%, Goody Science & Technology 002694.CN +3.3%, Fujian Newchoice Pipe Technology 300198.CN +7.6% (China to enhance underground pipelines development); LG Chem 051910.KR +3.3% (awarded electric battery order)
- Energy: Shenzhen Woer Heat-Shrinkable Material 002130.CN +3.6%, Sufa Technology Industry 000777.CN +2.7% (China Pres Xi comments on nuclear energy); Drillsearch DLS.AU -2.3% (increases bid for Ambassador)
- Industrials: Fantasia Holdings Group 1777.HK -2.1% (to spin-off and separate list unit); Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 7011.JP -1.8% (speculation to increase bid for Alstom)
- Technology: Asustek Computer 2357.TW +1.2% (business plan)

***Economic Data***
- (UK) UK JUNE RIGHTMOVE HOUSE PRICES M/M: 0.1% (6-month low) V 3.6% PRIOR; Y/Y: 7.7% V 8.9% PRIOR

Market Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 -0.6%, S&P/ASX falt, Kospi -0.1%, Shanghai Composite +0.1%, Hang Seng -0.1%, Sept S&P500 -0.3% at 1,922, Aug gold +0.5% at $1,280, Jul crude oil +0.3% at $107.22/brl