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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (March 03, 2014)

March 3, 2014, Monday, 06:34 GMT | 01:34 EST | 11:04 IST | 13:34 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


***Highlights/Observations/Insights***
- Geopolitical Russia-Ukraine tensions washing over the Crimean peninsula are weighing heavily on market sentiment in Asia, with rapidly unfolding situation escalating progressively throughout the weekend. Russian Pres Putin secured support from Parliament to use military force to defend Russian interests in Ukraine on Saturday, and now appears to be in full control of Crimea, with military presence extending well beyond the existing naval bases. More critically, Putin appears to have also set his sights on large industrial cities in eastern Ukraine, where the pro-Russian sentiment from local Russian sympathizers spilled over into streets through skirmishes with pro-Ukrainian supporters. Ukraine govt pleaded to western leaders for assistance and also mobilized reservists, declaring a "full combat alert". Pres Obama held extended direct conversations with Putin over the weekend, but also secured commitment from the G7 in a joint condemnation of Russian violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. Russia's Putin meanwhile also held talks with Germany's Merkel, defending his intention regarding the troop movements but also agreeing to an OSCE-led "fact-finding" mission. NATO command also weighed in on the conflict, recommending dispatch of international observers to Ukraine.
- China PMIs highlighted the economic data headlines outside of the Russia-Ukraine developments. Feb manufacturing PMI was just above consensus but still fell to 8-month lows, and HSBC final manuf PMI was in line at 48.5. Non-manufacturing PMI was a positive surprise, printing a 3-month high. That release also marked the low point of the day in terms of sentiment, with US equity futures coming off its session low of 1,836 to trade at 1,845, stil down 15 handles.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- (JP) BOJ offers to buy ¥110B with JGB with maturity less than 1-yr and ¥180B with JGB with maturity over 10-yr
- (CN) China 7-day repo rate declines more than 80bps to 2.69%, sharpest decline since Feb 2011 - financial press
- USD/CNY: (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1190 v 6.1214 prior setting (highest Yuan setting since Feb 24th)

- AUD, NZD, and the Euro were sold in favor of safe-haven JPY and CHF currencies. AUD/USD fell over 40pips to $0.8890 on the lows, AUD/JPY was down nearly 100pips around ¥90.00, NZD/USD down 50pips near $0.8340, and EUR/CHF hit a 1-year low near CHF1.21, down over 30pips. EUR/USD opened down 40pips at $1.3760 before rising to $1.3780s, and USD/JPY traded as low as ¥101.25, off by over 50pips from Friday close. Spot gold rose nearly $20 but found resistance at its 4-month high of $1,345/oz.

***Speakers/Political/In the Papers***
**Ukraine**
- NATO Sec-Gen Rasmussen: Russia may face G8 sanctions if it contiues with its military incursion.
- US State Sec Kerry: Russia military incursion is "an incredible act of aggression"; May result in visa bans, asset freezes, trade and investment penalties, and a boycott of the G8 summit in June
- Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk: Taking necessary measures, but not convinced that Russia will launch offensive; Ukraine military placed on "full combat alert" and orders a "full military mobilization" in response to crisis.
- Ukraine UN ambassador: Ukraine needs diplomatic and military help; Says: "We are looking to raise the world awareness and to address the world leaders to stop this aggression when it is at the very first stage... We are preparing to defend ourselves."
- Russia ambassador Churkin: Russia's response reflects actions taken by an "illegal" government in Kiev and its order to attack regional government buildings in Crimea.
- German Foreign Min: Russia must clarify the goals and intention behind troop movements.
- UK Foreign Min Hague: "This action is a potentially grave threat to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We condemn any act of aggression against Ukraine."
- France Pres Hollande: Held talks with Putin, urging to abstain from military action.
- Poland PM: Ukraine crisis poses a risk to future of entire Europe; West needs to apply "hard pressure" on Russia.
- US State Sec Kerry to travel to Ukraine capital of Kiev on Tuesday in support of new govt; US considering sanctions on Russia banks - press

**Asia**
- (CN) Separatist group in China's northwest region of Xinjiang waged attack at a Kunming train station on Sunday that left about 30 people dead and over 130 people wounded - Xinhua
- (CN) Shanghai new home sales +13.5% w/w; Avg new home prices +15.5% w/w - Uwin
- (CN) China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) economist Zhang Liqun: Based on signs of market demand and production, expect economic growth to remain steady in the future - Chinese press
- (CN) PBoC eases FX controls in Shanghai FTZ, including eliminating bureaucracy for FDI - Chinese press
- (CN) BOE Gov Carney: Lack of regulations for China shadow banking system poses a risk to entire global economy - German press
- (JP) BOJ Gov Kuroda: Easing from Bank of Japan having the intended effect; Inflation expectations have gradually increased - addressing parliament
- (JP) Magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits off the coast of Okinawa, Japan; Tsunami not expected
- (JP) Japan FY13 current account balance may post a deficit - Kyodo News
- (KR) North Korea said to have fired two short-range missiles; initial reports indicate missiles landed into the sea off the east coast - financial press
- (KR) South Korea Fin Min Hyun: To gradually begin to tax financial derivatives
- (KR) South Korea Pres Park may announce next gov of BOK this week, as expected - financial press
- (TH) Thailand antigovt protestors have started to retreat around major rally locations - financial press

***Equities***
***Equities***
Market Snapshot (as of 04:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 -1.8%, S&P/ASX -0.5%, Kospi -0.8%, Shanghai Composite +0.8%, Hang Seng -0.7%, Mar S&P500 -0.9% at 1,840.5, Apr gold +1.6% at $1,342.7, Apr crude oil +1.2% at $103.79/brl

US markets:
- BRK.B: Reports Q4 Net EPS attributable to shareholders (Class A shares) $3,035 v $2,757 y/y

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Beijing Xiangeqing 002306.CN +3.1% (raised Q1 guidance); New Focus Auto Tech Holdings 360.HK -12.4% (profit warning); Raymond Industrial Ltd 229.HK -4.0% (profit warning); Sun Art Retail Group 6808.HK ++6.7% (FY13 results); Mixi Inc 2121.JP -4.5% (discovers unauthorized logins)
- Consumer staples: Lam Soon Hong Kong 411.HK +7.6% (H1 results)
- Financials: China Everbright International 257.HK +4.4% (talks of acquisition)
- Materials: Aluminum Corporation of China 2600.HK flat (prelim FY13 results)
- Energy: Shunfeng Photovoltaic International 1165.HK -1.9% (profit warning); Jutal Offshore Oil Services 3303.HK +6.2% (positive profit alert)
- Industrials: Xingfa Aluminum Holdings 98.HK +20.1% (positive profit alert); Worley Parsons WOR.AU +0.9% (awarded contract)
- Technology: High Tech Computer Corp 2498.TW -0.4% (Feb sales results); Yangzhou Yangjie Electronics Technology 300373.CN +10.0% (proposes special div)


***Economic Data***
- (CN) CHINA FEB MANUFACTURING PMI: 50.2 V 50.1E (8-month low)
- (CN) CHINA FEB FINAL HSBC/MARKIT MANUFACTURING PMI: 48.5 V 48.5E (7-month low)
- (CN) CHINA FEB NON-MANUFACTURING PMI: 55.0 V 53.4 PRIOR (3 month high)
- (JP) JAPAN Q4 CAPITAL SPENDING Y/Y: 4.0% (6-quarter high) V 4.9%E; CAPITAL SPENDING EX-SOFTWARE Y/Y: 2.8% V 4.6%E
- (JP) JAPAN JAN LOANS & DISCOUNTS CORP Y/Y: 2.3% V 2.2% PRIOR
- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB TD SECURITIES INFLATION M/M: 0.2% V 0.1% PRIOR; Y/Y: 2.7% V 2.5% PRIOR (7-month high)
- (AU) AUSTRALIA Q4 COMPANY OPERATING PROFIT Q/Q: 1.7% V 2.0%E; INVENTORIES Q/Q: -0.5% V 0.0%E
- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB ANZ JOB ADS M/M: 5.1% V 0.0% PRIOR (1st rise in 5 months)
- (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN HIA NEW HOME SALES M/M: +0.5% V -0.4% PRIOR
- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB RPDATA/RISMARK HOUSE PRICE INDEX: 0.0% V 1.2% PRIOR
- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB AIG PERFORMANCE OF MANUFACTURING INDEX (PMI): 48.6 V 46.7 PRIOR (highest level in 4 months; 4th month of contraction)
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND Q4 TERMS OF TRADE INDEX Q/Q: 2.3% V 1.9%E (1-year low)
- (KR) SOUTH KOREA FEB HSBC/MARKIT MANUFACTURING PMI: 49.8 V 50.9 PRIOR (first contraction in 5 months)
- (KR) SOUTH KOREA FEB TRADE BALANCE: $0.9B V +$1.6BE PRIOR
- (ID) INDONESIA FEB HSBC/MARKIT MANUFACTURING PMI: 50.5 V 51.0 PRIOR
- (ID) INDONESIA FEB CPI M/M: 0.3% V 0.5%E; Y/Y: 7.8% V 7.9%E; CORE CPI Y/Y: 4.6% V 4.6%E
- (ID) INDONESIA JAN TRADE BALANCE: -$0.4B V +$0.4BE
- (TW) TAIWAN FEB HSBC/MARKIT MANUFACTURING PMI: 54.7 V 55.5 PRIOR
- (VN) Vietnam Feb HSBC/Market Manufacturing PMI: 51.0 v 52.1 prior
- (UK) UK FEB HOMETRACK HOUSING SURVEY M/M: 0.7% V 0.3% PRIOR; Y/Y: 5.4% V 4.8% PRIOR