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TradeTheNews.com Asian Market Update: Alcoa kicks off Q1 earnings season; AUD rallies on rebound in Australia consumer confidence - Source TradeTheNews.com- (AU) AUSTRALIA APR WESTPAC CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX: 99.7 V 99.5 PRIOR; M/M: +0.3% (first rise in 5 months) V -0.7% PRIOR >- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB HOME LOANS M/M: 2.3% (5-month high) V 1.5%E; INVESTMENT LENDING: +4.4% V -3.7% PRIOR; OWNER-OCCUPIED LOAN VALUE: 1.9% V 1.6% PRIOR - (NZ) NEW ZEALAND MAR CARD SPENDING RETAIL M/M: 0.0% V 0.4%E; CARD SPENDING TOTAL M/M: -0.2% V +0.5% PRIOR - (KR) SOUTH KOREA MAR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 3.5% V 3.6%E - (KR) SOUTH KOREA MAR BANK LENDING TO HOUSEHOLDS (KRW): 480.6T V 479.7T PRIOR - (UK) UK MAR BRC SHOP PRICE INDEX Y/Y: -1.7% V -1.5%E Market Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT): - Nikkei225 -1.8%, S&P/ASX +1.0%, Kospi +0.1%, Shanghai Composite +0.3%, Hang Seng +1.1%, Jun S&P500 +0.1% at 1,845, Jun gold +0.3% at $1,313, May crude oil -0.2% at $102.33/brl ***Highlights/Observations/Insights*** - Alcoa Q1 earnings unofficially kicked off the US earnings season with a mixed result, beating on EPS but missing on the top line by over $100M. AA shares were still up over 2% in extended session, as company upgraded its global aerospace growth expectation by 1pct point on strong demand for aircraft and also affirmed growth in automotive/building-construction. Overall, Alcoa also affirmed its global aluminum demand growth of 7% in 2014, noting that global end-market growth remained solid. - Asia indices are modestly higher aside from another steep sell-off in Tokyo, where Nikkei225 is driven lower by firmer JPY. Lower USD/JPY is tracking the overall USD weakness that follows a bid in US Treasuries where the yield on the 10-year has fallen to 2.68%. Traders are also citing broad disappointment from a neutral set of remarks from BOJ Gov Kuroda overnight, spoiling expectations for more easing accompanying the release of semiannual outlook on prices and economy later this month. Economists with Nomura said the prospects of expanded QQE are now nil, though they still expect announcement of more easing in July. - Australia economic data points were positive on both counts heading into tomorrow's critical employment change results, sending AUD/USD to fresh 4-month highs. February home loans rose 2.3% - the highest rate in 5 months - while April consumer confidence saw a sequential rise for the first time in 5 months as well. Westpac chief economist said some of the rise is due to low base effects after falling 9.6% since November, but also pointed to "sharp rise in new jobs for February and ongoing positive news on the housing market." - Also of note in Australia, South Africa's Woolworths Holdings announced a A$2.2B bid for retailer David Jones just weeks after a "merger of equals" bid from Myer Holdings fell apart. The A$4.00/shr offer represents about a 25% premium, sending DJS (as well as Myer) shares sharply higher. The board has voted unanimously in favor of the deal and Myer has pulled its prior offer, however the merger will still have to pass through South Africa competition regulators. - PBoC set Yuan mid-point firmer for the second consecutive session, possibly in response to overnight warning from the US Treasury. An unnamed official said that "if the recent currency weakness signals a change in China's policy away from allowing adjustment, that would raise serious concern." ***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies*** - (CN) China MoF sells 3-yr bonds; yield 3.9868% - (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$700M in 2017 Notes; avg yield: 4.2885%; bid-to-cover: 3.49x - GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall 2.7 tonnes to 806.5 tonnes (lowest since Mar 7th) - (US) API PETROLEUM INVENTORIES: CRUDE: +7.08M (largest build since June 2013) v +1Me, GASOLINE: -3.65M v -1Me - USD/CNY: (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1490 v 6.1527 prior setting (2nd consecutive session of stronger setting; strongest since Mar 28th) - In USD majors, USD/JPY was up about 25pips above 102, coming off its US session lows below 101.60 - a 3-week low. AUD/USD is also a notable mover, rising to a fresh 4-month low above $0.9380 on strong Westpac confidence, while NZD/USD hit fresh 2 1/2 year high above $0.87. EUR/USD is in a 10pip range around $1.3790 going into German trade data. In EM FX, USD/KRW opened at 1,046 - the strongest level for KRW since 2008. ***Equities*** US markets: - CTCT: Guides Q1 higher R$78.7-78.8M v $77.3Me ($77.1-77.5M prior guidance); FY14 R$330M v $323Me; +15.0% afterhours - CPSS: Reports Q1 $0.21 v $0.12 y/y, R$68.1M v $51.1M y/y; +2.7% afterhours - AA: Reports Q1 $0.09 v $0.05e, R$5.45B v $5.56Be; +2.6% afterhours >- ISRG: Reports prelim Q1 Rev $465M v $532Me; -10.0% afterhours Notable movers by sector: - Consumer Discretionary: FamilyMart 8028.JP -7.2% (FY13/14 results); David Jones Ltd DJS.AU +23.0%, Myer Holdings MYR.AU +5.0% (Woolworths Holdings to acquire David Jones) - Financials: Agile Property Holdings 3383.HK +3.9% (Mar sales results) - Materials: Alumina AWC.AU +2.8%, United Rusal 486.HK +5.8% (Alcoa reports Q1 results); BBMH 2009.HK +1.1%, China National Building Material 3323.HK +0.4% (China raises railway investment target) - Energy: China Longyuan Power Group 916.HK +5.3% (Mar power generation results) - Industrials: Guangzhou Automobile 601238.CN +1.2% (Mar sales results); China Railway Construction Corp 1186.HK +3.4%, China Railway Group 390.HK +3.9% (China raises railway investment target) - Technology: Wasu Media 000156.CN +10.0% (private placement plan; Alibaba's Jack Ma to subscribe shares)- SourceTradeTheNews.com
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