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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (March 21, 2014)

March 21, 2014, Friday, 05:47 GMT | 01:47 EST | 10:17 IST | 12:47 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


***Highlights/Observations/Insights***
- Federal Reserve released its bank stress tests after US market close, and out of 30 key banks tested only Zions was deemed to fall short of minimum capital levels under stress scenario. Zions issued a press release afterhours, stating it plans to resubmit capital plan, which will contain additional actions to further reduce risk. The bank also said that its original submission to the Federal Reserve occurred prior to the sale of certain collateralized debt obligation securities (CDOs) in January and February 2014, sales of which also resulted in a substantial reduction in risk.
- Nike initially rose on earnings that beat on top and bottom line, but sold off over 3% after a particularly troublesome set of conference call comments. NKE sees Q4 Rev growing at a high single-digit rate (below futures rate) due to timing in shipments, and also projects devaluation in emerging currencies to result in significant headwinds on FY15 revenue, GMs, and profit growth. And while China revenue grew on the year in Q3, Q4 performance in the company's second biggest and most critical market was projected to be flat to slightly down.
- China markets started out modestly higher, before paring some of the initial gains. NDRC downplayed default risk in corporate bonds, while 2 of China's top banks - ICBC and CCB - were repored to have suspended distributing high-yield trust products. China yuan remained under pressure with another fix in USD/CNY at multi-month highs but offshore Yuan was little budged, as parity briefly fell below that critical 6.20 level. A report from China National Energy Administration (NEA) underscored the extent to which the off-month timing of the Lunar New Year impacted data - Feb power consumption was up an impressive 13.7% while Jan-Feb up only 4.5% y/y. Markets await more clarity over the extent of China slowdown from the upcoming HSBC Flash manufacturing PMI to be unveiled on Sunday evening.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$700M in 3.25% 2018 Bonds, avg yield: 3.3988%, bid-to-cover: 5.2x
- (US) Weekly Fed Balance Sheet Total Assets Week ending Mar 19th: $4.18T v $4.18T prior; Reserve Bank Credit: $4.22T v $4.14T prior; M1: -$22.2B (biggest fall in 4 weeks) v +$103.6B prior; M2: +$23.7B (first rise in 3 weeks) v -$13.9B prior
- Foreign central bank holdings of US Treasuries: $2.89T v $2.86T w/w (**NOTE prior was the lowest holdings since $2.85T in Dec 2012)
- M1 and M2 percent change at seasonally adjusted annual rates for last 13 weeks y/y: - M1 y/y change: 9.7% (6-month high) v 9.3% w/w; - M2 y/y change: 5.7% v 5.7% w/w
- USD/CNY: Onshore Yuan (CNY) trading at 6.2315/USD v prior close of 6.2275; Falls more than 1% of mid-point setting for 3rd consecutive day

- USD majors traded without much direction in US hours and continue to lack conviction in Asia. EUR/USD was under significant pressure after the FOMC decision, but has since settled above the $1.3750 support - which has previously marked an inflection some 2 months back. USD/JPY is also consolidating overnight bullish USD momentum, trading in a 25pip range over the past 12 hours. AUD/USD popped up above the $0.9060 level, rising about 30pips from the lows. Going into the weekend, the focus will once again be on China, where March HSBC flash manufacturing PMI will be released on Sunday night. This will mark the first release that will not be clouded by the timing of the Lunar New Year said to be the culprit for the soft data in February.

US markets:
- COMM: Raises Q1 guidance to EPS to $0.43-0.47 v $0.37e; Rev $900-925M v $865Me (guided $0.36-0.40, R$860-900M prior); +14.3% afterhours
- CPWR: Said to draw interest from Vista Equity, Thoma Bravo; Not in active discussions with buyout firms - financial press; +2.2% afterhours
- DFS: Raises quarterly dividend 20% to $0.24/shr from $0.20.shr; To repurchase $1.6B (about 5.8% of market cap) during FY14/15; +0.3% afterhours
- ZION: To resubmit capital plan; Will contain additional actions to further reduce risk, increase common equity capital sufficient to meet or exceed minimum capital ratios; -0.7% afterhours
- NKE: Reports Q3 $0.76 v $0.73e, R$6.97B v $6.82Be; CEO: Strong demand pulled some Q4 futures orders into Q3; Expect Q4 Rev to grow at a high single-digit rate (below futures rate) due to timing in shipments; Devaluation of EM FX to pose significant headwinds on FY15 Rev, GMs, and profit growth - conf call; -3.2% afterhours
- SYMC: Appoints Michael Brown as interim-CEO effective immediately following termination of CEO Steve Bennett; reiterated Q4 guidance EPS $0.40-0.42 v $0.44e, Rev $1.615-1.655B v $1.66Be; -6.1% afterhours
- AIR: Reports Q3 $0.45 v $0.50e, R$474.4M v $520.2M y/y; -6.2% afterhours

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Li & Fung 494.HK +17.5% (FY13 results; to spin-off GBG); Success Universe Group 487.HK +6.7% (positive profit alert)
- Financials: Ningbo Fuda Co 600724.CN +1.3% (FY13 results); Opes Asia Development 810.HK -20.2% (FY13 results); Bank of Chongqing 1963.HK +2.3% (FY13 results)
- Energy: Kunlun Energy 135.HK -4.9% (FY13 results)
- Industrials: Gome Electrical Appliances 493.HK +8.3% (FY13 results); Mesnac Co 002073.CN -4.2% (FY13 results); Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy 603366.CN -1.9% (FY13 results); WDS Ltd WDS.AU +6.1% (enters JV)


***Economic Data***
- (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN CONFERENCE BOARD LEADING INDEX M/M: 0.2% V 0.9% PRIOR
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND MAR ANZ CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX: 132.0 V 133.0 PRIOR; M/M: -0.8% V -2.1% PRIOR
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND FEB CREDIT CARD SPENDING M/M: 0.3% V 1.0% PRIOR; Y/Y: 5.9% V 9.2% PRIOR
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND FEB NET MIGRATION: 3.5K (10-yr high) V 3.1K PRIOR
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND FEB ANZ JOB ADS M/M: 3.7% V 3.7% PRIOR (2nd consecutive rise)
- (SL) SRI LANKA LEAVES REVERSE REPO RATE UNCHANGED AT 8.00%; LEAVES REPURCHASE RATE UNCHANGED AT 6.50% (EXPECTED)
- (US) NORTH AMERICA FEB SEMI BOOK/BILL RATIO: 1.00 V 1.04 PRIOR (5-month low)

Market Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 closed, S&P/ASX +0.6%, Kospi +0.6%, Shanghai Composite flat, Hang Seng flat, Jun S&P500 flat at 1,866, Apr gold +0.3% at $1,333, Apr crude oil -1.0% at $99.38/brl

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