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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (May 20, 2014)

May 20, 2014, Tuesday, 13:34 GMT | 08:34 EST | 17:04 IST | 19:34 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


***Highlights/Observations/Insights***
- AUD/USD is the biggest mover among the dollar majors, weighed down by S&P comments on Australia's sovereign rating, less hawkish RBA meeting minutes, and remarks from RBA dep gov Debelle. Earlier in the US session, S&P analyst was said to have notified the govt about a potential review of Australia's AAA credit rating unless budget cuts can be fashioned over the coming years, sending AUD lower even though S&P had later clarified that Australia's AAA is not at risk. RBA minutes reiterated low rates are "likely appropriate for some time", inflation is consistent with target, and GDP growth would likely be below trend in the coming quarters. RBA also noted housing markets finally appear to be slowing, further diminishing the outlook for late-2014 rate hikes that were being increasingly priced in by some of the analysts. RBA dep gov Debelle said lower capital inflows may result in drop in a fall in AUD, even with demand for Australia debt remaining robust. AUD/USD fell below the $0.93 handle - a 2-week low.

- Credit Suisse confirmed it is settling the case brought by the US AG, admitting criminal liability and agreeing to pay $2.6B in penalties. Notably, New York Superintendent of financial services Benjamin Lawsky said regulators will not begin proceedings to revoke the bank's NY license.

- Thailand army declared martial law across the country to quell some of the increasing political turmoil. Army spokesperson clarified the declaration is not a coup, but also requested that all political groups suspend their protests. Thai Justice Min also said the govt is still running the country, and that it was positive that the army is looking after security. Thai Baht weakened after declaration of Martial Law, with USD/THB hitting a 1-week high above THB32.60 prompting some central bank intervention.

- China indices are modestly higher, in part due to reports from the Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) that the IPO reform would be smaller in terms of new filings in 2014 than 154 in 2012. Recall recent reports suggested the number of filings could top 300. Earlier, UBS lowered China 2014 GDP target to 7.3% from 7.5% and 2015 GDP target to 6.8% from 7.0%.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- JGB: (JP) Japan's MoF sells ¥1.10T in 1.5% (1.5% prior) 20-year JGBs; Avg yield: 1.453% v 1.468% prior; bid-to-cover: 3.56x v 3.99x prior
- (CN) PBoC to drain CNY35B in 28-day repos (26th consecutive drain)
- (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$200M in index 2022 bonds avg yield: 1.0660%; bid-to-cover: 4.36x

***Equities***
US markets:
- OPHT: Enters into Ex-US Licensing and Commercialization Agreement for Fovista with Novartis; to receive up to $1B, including $300M upfront payment; +22.8% afterhours
- AZN: Pfizer considers boosting offer for AstraZeneca if third party has intention to make offer; +0.7% afterhours
- CS: US Justice Dept confirms Credit Suisse has pled guilty to criminal tax case; agrees to pay $2.6B per settlement charges - press conf; -0.4% afterhours
- URBN: Reports Q1 $0.26 v $0.27e, R$686.3M v $688Me; -4.6% afterhours
- ECYT: Merck and Endocyte Announce Withdrawal of Conditional Marketing Authorization Applications for Vintafolide and Companion Imaging Components, Etarfolatide and Intravenous (IV) Folic Acid in Europe; -4.9% afterhours
- ADTN: Announces additional 5M shares (8.9% of shares outstanding) repurchase program

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Treasury Wine Estates TWE.AU +19.2% (rejects proposal from KKR; announces investment and cost reduction plan)
- Industrials: Great Wall Motor 2333.HK +1.4% (plans manufacturing plant in Russia); Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings 493.HK +0.7% (Q1 results)
- Technology: BOE Technology Group 000725.CN +1.0%, Dongxu Optoelectronics Technology 000413.CN +2.8% (enters strategic alliance); Talkweb Information System 002261.CN -10.0% (announces acquisition); Yahoo! Japan Corp 4689.JP +9.7% (cancels acquisition plan)


***Economic Data***
- (AU) AUSTRALIA MAR CONFERENCE BOARD LEADING INDEX M/M: 0.0% (7-month low) V 0.2% PRIOR
- (SG) SINGAPORE Q1 FINAL GDP Q/Q: 2.3% V 1.2%E; Y/Y: 4.9% V 5.4%E
- (KR) SOUTH KOREA APR PPI Y/Y: -0.3% V -0.5% PRIOR (19th consecutive decline)
- (SL) SRI LANKA LEAVES REVERSE REPO RATE UNCHANGED AT 8.00%; LEAVES REPURCHASE RATE UNCHANGED AT 6.50% (EXPECTED)

Market Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 +0.9%, S&P/ASX +0.2%, Kospi -0.4%, Shanghai Composite +0.1%, Hang Seng +0.6%, Jun S&P500 flat at 1,882, Jun gold flat at $1,294, Jun crude oil +0.1% at $102.70/brl