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Tuesday February 19, 2013 - 07:09:29 GMT
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| | Email Asian Market Update: RBA minutes diminish likelihood of further easing; BOJ minutes introduce possibility of longer maturity JGB buying - Source

***Economic Data*** - (AU) RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA (RBA) FEB MINUTES: INFLATION OUTLOOK HAS ROOM TO EASE POLICY IF NECESSARY - (JP) JAPAN BOJ MINUTES FOR MEETING ON JAN 21-22; Economy remains relatively weak; few members said can purchase JGBs with duration up to 5-yrs ***Markets Snapshot (as of 04:30 GMT)*** - Nikkei225 -0.3% - S&P/ASX +0.2% - Kospi flat - Shanghai Composite -1% - Hang Seng -0.3% - Mar S&P500 -0.1% at 1,517 - Apr gold +0.2% at $1,613/oz - Mar Crude Oil flat at $95.53/brl ***Notes/Observations*** - Japan Fin Min Aso sends JPY higher by ruling out consideration of foreign bond purchases; That policy has been advocated by the more aggressive BOJ Gov Candidate Iwata and was also left on the table by PM Abe as recently as yesterday. >- Most notable comments from Japan January BOJ Meeting Minutes coming from a vocal minority of the board suggesting extending JGB purchases to 5-yr duration from the current 3-yr cap. Comments sending 5-yr and 10-yr JGB yields to multi-month lows as markets start to price in expanded QE on the longer end of the curve; 5-year JGB auction seeing strong demand despite lower coupon. - RBA Feb meeting minutes upbeat on regional recovery. Sees policy as already accommodative and economy already responding to low-level of rates. Hawkish minutes sent AUD above $1.0430 vs USD and up vs NZD for 3rd consecutive day. AUD/CAD at 2-week high. >- NZ Fin Min English talks down NZD days after it hit 1.5-yr high above $0.85. - Shanghai Composite falls below 2,400; lowest level since Jan 31st. >- Goldman Sachs chief economist Hatzius: US economy to see sluggish growth in 2013; Will see "substantial acceleration" in 2014 - Australia's Arrium falls 2% as profits and revenue fall; BHP earnings on tap this week. ***Speakers/Political/In the Papers*** - (CN) Standard Chartered analysts estimate China 2012 GDP rising as little as 5.5% vs official report of 7.8% - Australian press - (AU) Australia CommSec economist: RBA meeting minutes suggest central bank likely to keep policy rates unchanged in 2013, even though one more rate cut is still a possibility - SMH - (AU) Australia Greens Party ends pact with Labor but will continue support; plans to complete parliamentary term - financial press - (NZ) New Zealand Fin Min English: NZD gains are headwind for exporters - financial press - (JP) Japan Fin Min Aso: Timing of BoJ chief nomination unclear; not thinking about foreign bond purchases, not currently considering amending BoJ law - addressing parliament - (JP) Japan Econ Min Amari: Buying foreign bonds is just one option, clarifies that PM Abe was speaking "generally" in regards to foreign bond buying - financial press - (JP) Japan BoJ Gov Shirakawa: BoJ will put in place appropriate policies - addressing parliament - (JP) Japan cabinet office may upgrade economic assessment for 2nd consecutive month in its February monthly report due to weaker JPY - Yomiuri News - (TH) Thai GDP results stall talk of central bank rate cuts - financial press - (KR) According to Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) poll, 59.6% of respondents to a poll of 500 companies see South Korea GDP at 2% or worse in 2013 - Korean press ***Currencies*** - Currency markets fairly muted during Asian session, JPY strengthened early in the session as Fin Min Aso said the BoJ is not thinking about foreign bond purchases and an amendment of BoJ law is not currently being considered. The USDJPY pair dropped 20 pips on the comments below 93.60. JPY remained strong as Econ Min Amari later tried to "clarify" comments by PM Abe made yesterday about the BoJ looking into buying foreign bonds, saying foreign bond buying is "just one option" and the PM was speaking "generally". - AUD/USD rose about 15pips to $1.0330 following RBA meeting minutes which stated that current monetary policy is accommodative and easing thus far has been substantial. One Australian economist said the minutes suggest the RBA might keep rates unchanged in 2013. Recent swap data showed a 28% chance of a rate cut at the next meeting, down from about 32% before the minutes. - NZD/USD fell nearly 50pips toward $0.84 after comments from Fin Min English, stating that the high NZD is a headwind for exporters, but also acknowledging that imports are made cheaper, echoing comments made by PM Key yesterday highlighting the benefits of a strong NZD as it helps consumers and keeps inflation low. ***Fixed Income/Commodities*** - JGB: (JP) Japan's MoF sells 2.47T in 0.2% 5-yr notes; Avg yield: 0.122% v 0.156% prior; Bid to cover: 3.81x v 3.44x prior - JGB: 10-yr JGB yield falls to 1-month low 0.73% - JGB: 5-yr JGB yield falls to record low 0.13% ***Equities*** - AUO: Considering plans to issue new shares; to raise up to NT$8B (about 7% of market cap) - financial press - JAL 9201.JP: Announces Boeing 737 aircraft returns to Haneda Airport due to gauge problems after takeoff - financial press - Suzuki Motor 7269.JP: To launch a minivehicle that features fuel economy similar to that of hybrids by this spring - Nikkei News - Kao 4452.JP: May post its first op profit in Asia in 10 years - Nikkei News - VALE: Declares force majeure on Mozambique coal shipments; Heavy rains affecting Mozambique railways - financial press - Hyundai Motor 005380.KR: Rotem unit sued by assembly wage workers for failing to pay overtime to hourly employees - financial press - CCA.AU: Reports FY12 Net A$459.9M v A$591.8M y/y; Rev A$5.18B v A$4.80B y/y; +2.1% - ARI.AU: Reports H1 Net A$51M v A$77M y/y; Rev A$3.40B v A$3.80B y/y; -2.4% - ESRX: Reports Q4 $1.05 v $1.05e, R$27.41B v $27.3Be - HLS: Reports Q4 $0.42 v $0.32e, R$552.9M v $544Me - (US) Colorado Democrat-controlled House of Repos approves a package of more strict gun control measures - US press -


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