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Monday May 20, 2013 - 06:51:45 GMT
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| | Email Asian Market Update: Bullish sentiment undettered by sharp gains in China housing prices and North Korean rocket launch - Source

*Economic Data*** - (CN) CHINA APR NEW HOME PRICES M/M: RISES IN 67 OF 70 CITIES VS 68 PRIOR; Y/Y: PRICES RISES IN 68 OF 70 CITIES VS 67 PRIOR - (TH) THAILAND Q1 Q/Q: -2.2% V -1.5%E; Y/Y: 5.3% V 6.0%E - (NZ) NEW ZEALAND APR PERFORMANCE SERVICES INDEX: 56.1 V 55.6 PRIOR - (UK) UK MAY RIGHTMOVE HOUSE PRICES M/M: 2.1% V 2.1% PRIOR; Y/Y: 2.5% V 0.4% PRIOR ***Markets Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT)*** - Nikkei225 +1.4% - S&P/ASX +1.0% - Kospi +0.1% - Shanghai Composite +0.9% - Hang Seng +1.8% - Jun S&P500 -0.1% at 1,662 - Jun gold -1.7% at $1,342/oz - Jun crude oil -0.1% at $96.14/brl ***Observations/Insights*** - Equities are the favored asset class in the Asia session despite the accelerating housing prices in China and more provocations from North Korea - developments which in prior months would have dampened investors appetite. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is leading the charge in a catch-up rally following Friday holiday, reaching a 3-month high above 23,400. Shanghai Composite is up about 1% above 2,300 - a near 2-month high. Conversely, South Korea's Kospi is up a marginal 0.1%, trading more cautiously despite returning from holiday break on Friday as well, as investors tread lightly following a short-range North Korea missile launch into the Sea of Japan this weekend. - In Japan, Economic Minister Amari briefly spooked the yen shorts at the open, suggesting that excessive gains have already been corrected by a large amount and any further weakness could actually become a detriment. Additionally, Amari said it will be up the govt to minimize volatility resulting from an abrupt shift from bonds to stocks. BOJ Gov Kuroda added to that sentiment, noting it is natural for long-term JGB yields to rise as inflation expectation pick up, but also warned the central bank actions would prevent yields from rising too steeply. After strong preliminary Q1 GDP, Japan Cabinet Office also upgraded its economic assessment for the month of May following a pause in April, noting exports are showing signs of recovery and output is gradually recovering. USD/JPY briefly fell over 100pips all the way toward the 102 handle before recovering back above 102.50 later in the day. Other majors also traded with a bias of weaker USD - AUD/USD rose above Friday highs of $0.9770, EUR/USD rose to $1.2850, and NZD/USD traded back above $0.81 handle. - China property sector retained its allure despite the govt steps to curb housing inflation. April property prices across 70 cities rose 4.9% y/y - the biggest increase since Apr 2011 - while m/m growth was at 1.0%, down from 1.2% in March. Analysts are increasingly more concerned that policymakers will be able to control property market gains, just as China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) warned about risks of property/financial bubble brewing in Hong Kong. ***Fixed Income/Commodities*** - (KR) South Korea MOF sells KRW2.05T in 10-yr govt bonds, avg yield 2.92% - EUR/USD: Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein: Risk of a euro break-up is smaller than a year ago; Political will behind common currency still intact - German press - SLV: iShares Silver Trust ETF daily holdings fall to 10,252 tons from 10,321 tons (lowest since Jan 15th) - update as of May 17th - GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall by 3.0 tons to 1,038.4 ton (lowest since 1,038.2 in Mar of 2009) - update as of May 17th ***Speakers/Political/In the Papers*** - (JP) BOJ gov Kuroda: natural for long-term JGB yields to rise as inflation expectation is picking up - (JP) Japan Econ Min Amari: Core CPI showing signs of turning positive due to BOJ policies; CPI still in mild deflation - financial press - (JP) Japan PM Abe cabinet support fall slightly to 70.9% in May from 72.1% in Apr - Kyodo - (JP) Japan PM Abe's May cabinet support rate rises to 65% from 60% in April - Asahi - (CN) China may expand property tax trial to several cities during the current year - Chinese press >- (CN) China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) research warns of risks to HK economy from potential asset price bubbles; Citing dependency on financial and real estate industry - HK press - (CN) China Ministry of Finance (MOF) researcher Su: China may face big scale of capital inflows in the next few years - (CN) PBoC researcher Ji: China fiscal and financial risks are controllable - Chinese press - (CN) Nomura chief China economist: China govt faced with dilemma reconciling between property prices and economic growth - financial press - (CN) UBS China economist Tao Wang: Expect property sector policy to stabilize in the coming months and see a modest property recovery to continue - (AU) According to Commonwealth Bank's (CBA) Business Sales Indicator (BSI), Australia Apr consumer spending rose 0.5pts m/m (8th consecutive m/m increase) and 4.9pts y/y- SMH - (NZ) According to ASB, New Zealand Q1 investor confidence rose to 18% from 13% in Q4, highest level since late 2010 - NZ press - (NZ) New Zealand Fin Min English: Rising home prices may pressure RBNZ to raise interest rates sooner - NZ media - (KR) South Korea Foreign Min Yun Byung-se: Provocations by the North are "grave" - Korean press - (KR) South Korea Defense Ministry spokesperson: "Our military is closely monitoring activities by the North's military since there is a possibility of additional launches in the future." - (EU) ECB's Weidmann: Improved lending conditions and lower interest rates should not lead to complacency about euro zone crisis - German press - (UK) BOE Gov King: Debate over fiscal policy is overblown; Everyone agrees on the need for medium-term fiscal adjustment and automatic stabilizers; Euro zone risks still pose biggest threat to UK - UK press ***Equities*** - LEI.AU: On track to deliver FY13 underlying net within guidance; Reiterates FY13 Net guidance A$520-600M. - LEI.AU: CFO: May undertake cost cutting to preserve margins - AFR - WBC.AU: Lowers its 1-year fixed home loan rate for new customers to 4.79% - SMH - SUN.AU: Considering selling off its "non-core bank" - AFR - Hon Hai 2317.TW: According to China Labor Watch rights group, 3 worker suicides occured at Hon Hai's China plant in the past 3 weeks - financial press - BYD 1211.HK: First electric taxis made by BYD launched in Hong Kong this weekend - financial press - QIHU: Reports Q1 $0.14 v $0.14e, R$109.9M v $106Me - TM: Plans to increase output of lithium-ion batteries for the Prius and other models to over 200K units per year; To invest about 20B to expand capacity at Kosai plant - Nikkei News - 8411.JP: Mizuho bank to start offering reverse mortgages in July - Nikkei News - YHOO: Board said to have approved $1.1B acquisition of Tumblr - financial press > -


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