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TradeTheNews.com Asian Mid-session Update: BOK surprises with rate cut; Australia unemployment retreats from 12-year high - Source TradeTheNews.com(NZ) NEW ZEALAND CENTRAL BANK (RBNZ) LEAVES OFFICIAL CASH RATE UNCHANGED AT 3.50, AS EXPECTED - (KR) BANK OF KOREA (BOK) CUTS 7-DAY REPO RATE BY 25 BPS TO 1.75% (NOT EXPECTED); First rate cut in 5 months; Record low - (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB EMPLOYMENT CHANGE: 15.6K V +15.0KE; UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 6.3% V 6.4%E; PARTICIPATION RATE 64.6% (4-month low) V 64.8%E - (AU) AUSTRALIA MAR CONSUMER INFLATION EXPECTATION: 3.2% V 4.0% PRIOR - (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN CREDIT CARD BALANCES: A$50.1B v A$51.3B PRIOR; CREDIT CARD PURCHASES: A$21.5B v A$27.0B PRIOR - (NZ) New Zealand REINZ Feb House Price Index: 4,069.7 v 4,037.3 prior; House sales Y/Y: 12.6% v 2.6% prior - (NZ) New Zealand Feb Food Prices M/M: -0.7% v 1.3% prior (1st decline in 3 months) - (JP) JAPAN JAN TERTIARY INDUSTRY INDEX M/M: 1.4% V 0.5%E (10-month high) - (JP) JAPAN Q1 BUSINESS SURVEY INDEX (BSI) LARGE ALL INDUSTRY Q/Q: 1.9 V 6.0E; BSI LARGE MANUFACTURING Q/Q: 2.4 V 8.1 PRIOR ***Index Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT)***- Nikkei225 +1.1%, S&P/ASX +1.0%, Kospi +0.4%, Shanghai Composite +0.9%, Hang Seng +0.4%, Mar S&P500 flat at 2,042***Commodities/Fixed Income***- Apr gold -0.3% at $1,150, Apr crude oil -0.5% at $48.21/brl, May Copper flat at $2.61/lb.- JGB: (JP) Japan's MoF sells ¥2.46T in 0.1% (0.1% prior) 5-yr notes; Avg yield: 0.122% v 0.120% prior; Bid to cover: 3.64x v 3.29x prior - (CN) PBoC to inject CNY25B in 7-day reverse repos (5th consecutive injection); Drains net CNY53B this week v drained CNY145B prior (3rd week of drain) - (JP) Japan investors bought net ¥270.4B in foreign bonds v bought ¥470.9B in prior week; Foreign investors bought net ¥290.1B in Japan stocks v bought ¥350.5B in prior week - USD/CNY: PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1617 v 6.1597 prior setting (weakest Yuan setting since Sept 5th) - USD/KRW: KRW currency (Won) falls throw KRW1,135 following surprise BOK rate cut; Lowest KRW level since July 2013 ***Market Focal Points/FX***- China markets are in the green despite the multi-year low rates of growth in Industrial Production, Retail Sales, and Fixed Asset Investment for Jan-Feb reported just ahead of yesterday's close, as investors began to price in further PBoC policy easing to help curb economic slowdown of early 2015. Commentary from economists after yesterday's data reflected the growing pessimism - BoCom said the figures were "much worse than expected", Nomura noted the figures reflect a structural issue involving the correction of the property market and overcapacity in manufacturing sector, and ANZ warned Q1 GDP may fall below 7%. China Electricity Council offered a slightly less downbeat forecast for 2015, noting power consumption growth - one of Premier Li's preferred indicators - would expand to 4.5% from 3.8% in 2014.- Bank of Korea joined the global fray of some two dozen central banks adding to policy accommodation in recent months, surprising the markets with its first rate cut in 5 months to record low 1.75%. KRW weakened to its lowest level in nearly 2 years above KRW1,135 against the dollar, while the Kospi rose from initial losses. BOK attributed the decision to expectation of lower than anticipated inflation, persisting output gap, a likely miss on GDP target, and risks from a slowdown in China. Rate decision was not unanimous - two members voted for a hold.- Ahead of the BOK, decision from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand was notably more balanced after last month's surprising introduction of a potential easing in its statement. RBNZ left rates on hold as expected, adding the domestic economy is strong, policy setting is appropriate, and exchange rate is satisfactory. Previously, RBNZ continued to talk down the currency as being out of line with fundamentals. New Zealand Central Bank also affirmed FY16 CPI at 2% and raised FY16 GDP to 3.5% from 3.1%, along with a 0.3pt cut to the current FY15 GDP to 3.2%. 90-day bill forecast revisions were also more benign than expected - 2015-end and 2016-end were revised by 0.3pts and 0.6pts respectively to 3.7% for both. NZD/USD spiked up over 120pips on the announcement to test above $0.7320 before consolidating those gains.- In Australia, employment data were also surprisingly refreshing on balance. Unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 12-year low of 6.4%, even as participation rate fell to a 4-month low. Employment change was in line with consensus, but hours worked component rose to its highest level since June 2014. After the release JPMorgan and BoA/ML economists reiterated their view that jobless rate is yet to peak, forecasting 6.5% and 6.75% tops respectively, while CommSec cheered the rising hourly volume indicative of businesses working the existing staff more intensively in calling the top in unemployment.- After the US market close, Federal Reserve released its latest CCAR analysis, giving a pass for capital plans to 29 out of 31 banks. BoA was asked to "submit a new capital plan by the end of the third quarter to address certain weaknesses in its capital planning processes", while DB and Santander US units saw objections on "qualitative concerns".***Equities***US markets: - AMOT: Reports Q4 $0.53 v $0.15 y/y, R$61.9M v $50.1M y/y; +6.4% afterhours- MS: Fed does not object to its CCAR plan increases dividend 50% $0.15 from $0.10 (1.7% yield); approves $3.1B buyback (4.5% of market cap); +3.2% afterhours- C: Fed does not object to its CCAR plan; approves dividend increase to $0.05 (implied yield 0.4%); To buy back $7.8B (4.9% of market cap); +3.2% afterhours- RMAX: Declares special dividend of $1.50 per share (4.6% yield) and doubles quarterly dividend to $0.125 per share (1.5% indicated yield); +2.5% afterhours- MW: Reports Q4 -$0.03 v -$0.07e, R$928.4M v $916Me; +2.2% afterhours- UTX: Confirms to explore strategic alternatives for its Sikorsky Aircraft business; +2.2% afterhours- AXP: Fed does not object to its CCAR plan; approves Quarterly Dividend increase of 12% to $0.29/shr (implied yield 1.5%) and buyback of $6.6B (8.1% of market cap); +1.3% afterhours- USB: Fed does not object to its CCAR plan Increases dividend 4.1% to $0.255/share (2.33% yield); Authorizes $3B buyback (3.9% of market cap); +1.1% afterhours- GS: Fed does not object to its CCAR plan; approves 8.3% dividend increase to $0.65/shr (yield 1.4%); +0.4% afterhours- WFC: Fed does not object to its CCAR plan; increases dividend 7% to $0.375/shr (implied yield 2.8%) from $0.35/shr; +0.3% afterhours- BAC: Authorizes a $4B (2.4% of market cap) Common Stock Repurchase Program; Maintains $0.05/shr dividend; -1.6% afterhours- RST: Reports Q4 -$1.01 v -$0.16e, R$79.3M v $81.4Me; Announces Reorganization and Realignment to Focus on E&E; -2.1% afterhours- KKD: Reports Q4 $0.17 v $0.17e, R$125.4M v $126Me; -5.0% afterhours- SHAK: Reports Q4 -$0.05 v -$0.03e, R$34.8M v $32.9Me; -5.9% afterhours- BOX: Reports Q4 -$1.65 v -$0.39e, R$62.6M v $57.6Me; -13.4% afterhours- ACAD: Delays NUPLAZIDTM NDA Submission; now plans submission in 2H 2015 versus prior plan for Q1 submission; -29.6% afterhoursNotable movers by sector:- Consumer Discretionary: G8 Education Ltd GEM.AU +3.9% (despite shareholder cuts stake); Car Inc 699.HK +1.4% (FY14 results); SJM Holdings 880.HK -0.6% (expects Macau Rev to decline)- Financials: Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Insurance 8750.JP +2.2% (seeks M&A opportunities); Haitong International Securities Group 665.HK +3.9% (FY14 results)- Industrials: Nissan Motor 7201.JP +1.9% (to add dealerships in China; Yen trades weaker); Shanghai Electric 601727.CN +5.9% (to plan for group listing)- SourceTradeTheNews.com
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