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Friday January 4, 2013 - 07:05:05 GMT
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| | Email Asian Market Update: USD extends gains while precious metals slump as hawkish FOMC Minutes take markets by surprise; Nikkei225 rejoins trade with a near 3% rally

- (CN) CHINA DEC HSBC SERVICES PMI: 51.7 V 52.1 PRIOR - (AU) AUSTRALIA DEC AIG PERFORMANCE OF SERVICE INDEX: 43.2 V 47.1 PRIOR (11-month of contraction) - (HK) HONG KONG DEC PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX (PMI): 51.7 V 52.2 PRIOR - (PH) PHILIPPINES DEC CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) M/M: -0.1% V +0.2%E; Y/Y: 2.9% V 3.0%E; CORE CPI Y/Y: 3.3% V 3.4%E - (KR) South Korea Dec Foreign Exchange Reserves: $327.0B v $326.1B prior ***Markets Snapshot (as of 05:00 GMT)*** - Nikkei225 +2.8% - S&P/ASX -0.4% - Kospi -0.7% - Shanghai Composite -0.3% - Hang Seng -0.8% - Mar S&P500 -0.1% at 1,452 - Feb gold -1.5% at $1,650/oz - Feb Crude Oil -0.8% at $92.17/brl ***Notes/Observations*** - Asian equity markets - with the exception of Japan returning to trade for the first time since the New Year - are tracking a more cautious sentiment from the US session, where investors were spooked by surprisingly more hawkish Dec FOMC meeting minutes. At that meeting, the minutes revealed that some of the Fed members were concerned that additional purchases could complicate the Committee's efforts to eventually withdraw monetary policy accommodation, in effect unveiling a potential fracture> within the FOMC. Incidentally, recall that the Dec 12th meeting was when the more dovish wing pushed the Committee to replace the 2015 low-rate pledge with thresholds linked to labor data and also announced $45B in monthly treasury purchases. Nonetheless, investors interpreted the minutes as a warning that the Fed may pull the pledge for unlimited QE sooner than the markets expect, just as better than expected ADP jobs data made the possibility of a more expedient recovery in the US economy more tangible. Equity markets turned lower, USD gained sharply across the board, while gold and silver prices tracked higher greenback lower. - Nikkei225 gained nearly 3% in its first trading session of the week, rising to near 2-year highs above 10,600. Broad weakness in JPY during the holidays in Japan certainly contributed to the outsized gains, but strong December sales from Japanese automakers also helped their respective shares, with Toyota Motor and Honda Motor gaining a respective 6% and 4% for the day. ***Currencies/Fixed Income/Commodities*** - USD/JPY: Rises above 87.80; Fresh 29-month highs - EUR/USD: Extending decline below $1.3020; fresh 2-week lows - GLD: HSBC lowers 2013 average gold price target to $1,760 from $1,850 (timing uncertain) - GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall by 9.6 tons to 1,340.3 tons (lowest since Nov 15th) - SLV: iShares Silver Trust ETF daily holdings fall to 10,080 tons from 10,085 tons (first decline since Dec 2nd) - SLV: Mar silver falls below $30/oz; Down over 1% in Asian session - (AU) Australia Dec Port Hedland iron ore exports: 26M (record high) v 21.69M m/m, shipments to China +25% m/m to record - (CN) China Stats Bureau: Pork prices rise up to 2% in late Dec - Chinese press - (US) Weekly Fed Balance Sheet Assets Week ending Jan 2nd: $2.899T v $2.889T prior; M1: +$30.8B v -$44.5B prior; M2: +$38.5B v +$36.3B prior - (US) API PETROLEUM INVENTORIES CRUDE: -12.03M V -1.5ME (multi-month high draw); GASOLINE: +3.32M V +1.5ME; DISTILLATE: +6.71M V +1.5ME; UTILIZATION: 90.5% V 91.6% W/W ***Speakers/Political/In the Papers*** - (CN) According to Soufun, China Nov home prices increased 0.23% m/m - Chinese press - (CN) Nomura cuts China Q4 GDP target to 8.0% from 8.4% prior - financial press - (CN) According to China Land Registry, Dec home sales fell 53.3% m/m to 3,286, lowest level since late 2008 - SCMP (update) - (JP) Nikkei News report suggesting a labor shortage in Japan may impede PM Abe's ambitious infrastructure projects - Nikkei News - (KR) Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov Kim: Denies press speculation the BOK is considering doing away with inflation target in favor of a GDP target - Korean press - (KR) South Korea Ministry of Knowledge and Economy (MKE): 2012 foreign direct investment (FDI) into Suth Korea rose 18.9% to $16.2B - Korean press - (PH) Philippines Central Bank Gov Tetangco: Dec inflation data supports manageable outlook; Monetary policy setting is appropriate - financial press ***Equities*** - TM: Reports Dec US sales +9% y/y; to 194.1K units v 201.5Ke - TM: Toyota and Audi to showcase self-driving technology at the upcoming CES (next week) - US financial press - NSANY: Reports Dec US Sales -1.6% y/y; to 99.3K units v 100Ke - HMC: Reports Dec US vehicle sales +26.2% y/y, at 132.8K units v 133.5Ke - HMC: To launch hybrid sedan on Japan domestic market with "best-in-class" fuel economy of 29km per liter - Nikkei News - Kawasaki Heavy 7012.JP: To start direct production of sports motorcycles in India within this year - Nikkei News - NEC 6701.JP: To invest about 10B to establish a new low-cost satellite plant in Tokyo - Japan press - SNE: Said to be in discussions with content firms regarding multi-channel TV services - financial press - PC: Panasonic, Renesas, and Fujitsu to merge their LSI units - Japan press - Atlas Iron AGO.AU: Announces start of production at Mt Dove mine; on track to export 7.2-7.7m tons for 2013 - financial press - Lend Lease LLC.AU: Awarded 170M construction project for two new buildings in London - financial press - Samsung Electronics 005930.KR: To launch Galaxy S4 Prototype smartphone in a private meeting during next week's CES - Korean press - AUO: Amazon said to have requested that AU Optronics enters its supply chain for the upcoming tablet products - DigiTimes - Lenovo 992.HK: Aims for 100% domestic supply of components in notebook production within 3-5 years - financial press - ARAY: Reports Prelim Q2 Rev $72-75M v $94Me and Cuts FY13 EPS -$0.95 to -$0.87 v -$0.49e Rev $320-330M v $405Me; -19.5% afterhours - CSTR: Reaffirms Q4 guidance $0.62-0.77 v $0.72e, R$552-602M v $579Me; J. Scott Di Valerio to Succeed Paul Davis as CEO, effective April 1, 2013; -3.3% afterhours -


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