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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (March 04, 2014)

March 4, 2014, Tuesday, 08:55 GMT | 03:55 EST | 13:25 IST | 15:55 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


***Highlights/Observations/Insights***
- With over an hour past the speculated 03:00GMT ultimatum deadline reportedly imposed (and then reportedly denied) by Russian naval forces on Ukraine vessels in the Crimea, no cannons have been fired and no bases are being stormed. Despite the tough rhetoric from Ukraine govt and the unyielding position from the Russia envoy expressed at the UN, both sides are biding their time to secure as much international support as they can and neither is willing to fire the first shot. In the mean time, US remains engaged in tough diplomacy against Moscow - Pentagon has places port visits, various meetings, joint military exercises with Russia on hold, US Trade Rep suspending upcoming bi-lateral trade and investment talks with Russia, while State Sec Kerry travels to Kiev for talks with the new govt.
- RBA kept its rates unchanged as widely expected and despite the geopolitical jitters retained a broadly neutral bias. Most notably, RBA brought back the passage suggesting that exchange rate remains high by historical standards and was also a bit more dovish on inflation, deleting expectation for prices to be higher than previously forecast, sending AUD lower across the board. AUD/USD fell over 30pips post RBA below $0.8910.
- China's National People's Congress spokeswoman previewed this week's start of the widely anticipated gathering, most notably indicating China will amend budget law and taxation law as it seeks to "improve quality of legislation". Annual targets will be unveiled by the NPC later this week, as early as tomorrow.
- Japan labor cash earnings have registered their first contraction in 3 months, supporting sentiment from GPIF's Ito and Abenomics 3rd arrow has been "slow". Despite these headwinds, JPY weakened following comments from BOJ Gov Kuroda who called on investors to continue to pursue carry trade given that Japan real rates are so low. USD/JPY rose above 101.70, up over 30pips from the lows.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- JGB: (JP) Japan MoF sells ¥2.19T in 0.6% (0.6% prior) 10-yr notes; Avg yield: 0.597% v 0.596% prior; Bid to cover: 3.52x v 3.21x prior
- (CN) PBoC to drain CNY35B in 14-day repos, CNY50B in 28-day repos (5th consecutive drain)
- USD/CNY: (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1236 v 6.1190 prior setting (weakest Yuan setting since Dec 5th)
- SLV: iShares Silver Trust ETF daily holdings fall to 10,168 tonnes from 10,204 tonnes prior

***Speakers/Political/In the Papers***
- (CN) China National People's Congress spokeswoman Fu Ying: China Premier Li Keqiang to hold news conference on Mar 13th; To further open up to domestic and foreign media - news conference
- USD/CNY: (CN) PBoC gov Zhou: recent Yuan volatility is normal - Xinhua
- (CN) China's Chongqing Province to set up free-trade zone - Chinese press
- (CN) According to Shanghai Uwin, new home sales in Feb fell 41% m/m and 23% y/y to 418.7K sqm - lowest in 2 years - Shanghai Daily
- (JP) BOJ Gov Kuroda: There is momentum stimulating Yen carry trade; Investors have incentive to pursue carry trade given low Japan interest rates - addressing parliament
- (JP) Japan PM Abe: Japan is steadily moving out of deflation
- (JP) Japan PM Abe's advisor Takenaka: Jun-Aug quarter will be critical for BoJ judgement on further easing - financial press interview
- (JP) Japan Chief Cabinet Sec Suga calls on refrain from force use in Ukraine
- (JP) Japan Trade Min Motegi: No change of Japan economic policies on Russia - Kyodo
- (JP) Japan Pension Fund (GPIF) reform panel head Ito: 3rd arrow of Abenomics has been "slow and unclear" - financial press/LDP research group meeting
- (JP) Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER): Japan's Real Jan GDP estimated at +0.1% m/m; Rising for 4th consecutive month - Nikkei
- (NZ) New Zealand Feb new residential listings fall 7% y/y, +31% m/m - Realestate.co.nz

- (UR) Ukraine UN Ambassador: Russia deployed approx 16k troops from Russia territory since Feb 24th - financial press
- (UR) According to Ukraine Border Guard, armed men have seized Kerch ferry terminal between Russia and Crimea - financial press

***Equities***
Market Snapshot (as of 04:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 +0.2%, S&P/ASX -0.3%, Kospi -0.4%, Shanghai Composite -0.8%, Hang Seng +0.4%, Mar S&P500 +0.2% at 1,845, Apr gold flat at $1,350, Apr crude oil -0.2% at $104.70/brl

US markets:
- VIPS: Reports Q4 $0.43 v $0.40e, R$651M v $579Me; +19.1% afterhours
- GWRE: Reports Q2 $0.16 adj v $0.02e, R$83.5M v $77.5Me; +3.2% afterhours
- URS: Reports Q4 $0.26 v $0.19e, R$2.66B v $2.72Be; Increases quarterly dividend 4.7% to $0.22 from $0.21; +0.4% afterhours
- MCP: Reports Q4 -$0.28 v -$0.29e, R$123.8M v $160Me; -2.3% afterhours
- ASNA: Reports Q2 $0.23 v $0.20e, R$1.27B v $1.27Be; -6.2% afterhours
- MDR: Reports Q4 -$1.37 v $0.16e, R$517.3M v $825Me; Ichthys subsea field development project "on schedule"; -9.5% afterhours
- DISH: Disney, Dish enter into long-term agreement; financial details not disclosed
- LMT: US Navy said to order 33 fewer F-35 fighter jets than planned in next 5-yr time due to budgetary pressures; F-35 incurred emergency landing in Japan - financial press

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Vietnam Manufacturing & Export Processing Holdings 422.HK +6.0% (FY13 results)
- Financials: Sinolink Worldwide Holdings 1168.HK -3.0% (profit warning)
- Energy: Xinyi Solar 968.HK +15.6% (JPMorgan raises PT); AGL Energy Ltd AGK.AU -2.3% (encounters regulatory opposition on acquisition plans)
- Industrials: Chengdu Tianbao Heavy Industry 300362.CN +10.0% (awarded contract); Northeast Electric Development 42.HK -1.2% (FY13 results)
- Technology: Hanergy Solar Group 566.HK +5.3% (positive profit alert); Forgame 484.HK +6.1% (acquisitions)


***Economic Data***
- (AU) RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA (RBA) LEAVES CASH RATE TARGET UNCHANGED AT 2.50% (AS EXPECTED); Maintains neutral bias
- (AU) AUSTRALIA Q4 CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE (A$): -10.1B V -10.0BE; NET EXPORTS OF GDP: 0.6% V 0.7%E
- (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN BUILDING APPROVALS M/M: 6.8% (1st increase in four months) V 0.5%E; Y/Y: 34.6% V 24.0%E
- (AU) Australia ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index in week Mar 2nd: 109.6 v 110.2 prior
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND FEB ANZ COMMODITY PRICE M/M: 0.9% (3-month low) V 1.2% PRIOR; Y/Y: +22.4%
- (JP) JAPAN JAN LABOR CASH EARNINGS Y/Y: -0.2% V +0.3%E (1st contraction in three months)
- (JP) JAPAN FEB MONETARY BASE Y/Y: 55.7% (multi-year high) V 51.9% PRIOR; MONETARY BASE END OF PERIOD: ¥204.8T V ¥200.9T PRIOR
- (KR) SOUTH KOREA FEB CPI M/M: 0.3% V 0.4%E; Y/Y: 1.0% (16th month below 2.5-3.5% target band) V 1.1%E; CORE CPI Y/Y: 1.7% V 1.7% PRIOR
- (US) According to e-Forecasting.com, US Feb Leading Index -1.1% v -0.2% prior; Probability of recession rose to 21% from 5% (update)