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Monday February 2, 2015 - 05:41:24 GMT
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| | Email Asian Mid-session Update: China official PMI contracts for the first time in 2 years; Merkel rules out further Greek debt relief - Source

- (CN) CHINA JAN MANUFACTURING PMI (Official): 49.8 V 50.3E; first contraction in 2 years - (CN) CHINA JAN NON-MANUFACTURING PMI: 53.7 V 54.1 PRIOR; 1-year low - (CN) CHINA JAN FINAL HSBC MANUFACTURING PMI: 49.7 V 49.8E (2nd consecutive month of contraction) - (JP) JAPAN JAN FINAL MARKIT/JMMA MANUFACTURING PMI: 52.2 V 52.1 PRELIM (8th consecutive expansion) - (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN AIG PERFORMANCE OF MANUFACTURING INDEX: 49.0 V 46.9 PRIOR (2nd month of contraction) - (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN TD SECURITIES INFLATION M/M: 0.1% V 0.0% PRIOR; Y/Y: 1.5% V 1.5% PRIOR - (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN RPDATA/RISMARK HOUSE PRICE INDEX M/M: 1.3% V 0.9% PRIOR- (KR) SOUTH KOREA JAN TRADE BALANCE: $5.5B V $2.0BE - (KR) SOUTH KOREA JAN HSBC MANUFACTURING PMI: 51.1 V 49.9 PRIOR (highest since May 2013) - (KR) SOUTH KOREA DEC CURRENT ACCOUNT: $7.2B V $11.3B PRIOR - (ID) INDONESIA JAN CPI M/M: -0.2% V +0.2%E; Y/Y: 7.0% V 7.5%E; CORE CPI Y/Y: 5.0% V 4.7%E - (ID) Indonesia Jan HSBC Manufacturing PMI: 48.5 v 47.6 prior (4th consecutive contraction) ***Index Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT)***- Nikkei225 -0.6%, S&P/ASX +0.8%, Kospi -0.1%, Shanghai Composite -1.2%, Hang Seng -0.3%, Mar S&P500 +0.2% at 1,992***Commodities/Fixed Income***- Apr gold +0.1% at $1,180, Mar crude oil -2.7% at $46.94/brl- (JP) BOJ offers to buy 70B in JGBs with maturity less than 1-yr, 240B in 10-25yr JGBs and 140B in JGBs with maturity over 25-yr - (KR) South Korea sells 3-yr govt bonds at avg yield of 1.975% - (CN) PBoC sets yuan mid point at 6.1385 v 6.1370 prior setting (weakest Yuan setting since Dec 4th) ***Market Focal Points/FX***- In spite of the targeted fiscal and cosmetic monetary stimulus measures in recent weeks, China PMIs for January suggested the overall economy is yet to turn the corner, prompting analysts to call for heavier PBoC lifting in the way of more interest rate and RRR cuts. Official manufacturing PMI contracted for the first time in 2 years, non-manufacturing hit a 1-year low, and HSBC final manufacturing slowed further to its 2nd consecutive sub-50 figure. ANZ economist found the official PMI decline particularly surprising as it comes just ahead of the Lunar New Year, which is typically preceded by "significant front loading effect" providing short-term impetus to the manufacturing industry. HSBC noted that "manufacturing sector remains weak and more aggressive monetary and fiscal easing measures will be needed to prevent another sharp slowdown in growth." China financials were under added scrutiny, as the President of the first private lender Minsheng Bank was hauled off on allegations of corruption. The only good news on the mainland came from the property sector - China Index Academy reported the average price of new residential properties in 100 major cities in January rose 0.2% m/m, the first increase in 9-months. CREIS added the property market has seen a boost in confidence with sales showing improvement fuelled by the mini-stimulus policies and with demand in the major cities picking up.- Ahead of tomorrow's RBA decision, economists' baseline scenario increasingly appears to be a rate hold but with a much more dovishly oriented bias. Goldman Sachs is of that opinion as well, while TD Securities, which put out its inflation estimates unchanged y/y, expect the RBA to acknowledge substantial progress made in the market toward lower exchange rate. RPData housing prices picked up in January, but resident researcher still believes conditions are cooling, stating "the rolling annual rate of capital gain has been trending lower - at the end of January the annual rate of dwelling value growth across the combined capitals index had slowed to 8.0%, down from the early 2014 peak of 11.5%." AUD/USD slid below 0.7750 at the open but subsequently bounced above the 0.7780 levels.- In other USD majors, USD/JPY opened below 117.00, but then rose above 117.80. A Nikkei survey speculated Japan would recover from recession as early as of Q42014, with GDP bouncing to 4% after another near-2% contraction in Q3. USD/CHF was also sharply higher on heavy CHF selling after Swiss press reported the SNB is now unofficially targeting EUR/CHF corridor between 1.05-1.10. EUR/CHF cross was up about 120pips at the open to trade around the 1.0480 level. - EUR/USD is up about 30pips from Friday close just above $1.1310 in the final hour of Tokyo trading session. Greek PM Tsipras expressed to ECB's Draghi his new govt would like to achieve a mutually beneficial solution for Greece situation, but Chancellor Merkel in a German press interview said she does not see another Greek debt cut. Merkel added "there has already been voluntary debt forgiveness by private creditors, banks have already slashed billions from Greece's debt." Greek Fin Min Varoufakis travelled to meet with French Fin Min Sapin ahead of schedule, stating Athens aims to send detailed reform program by the end of February and agree on new debt deal by the end of May, calling for a new social contract between Greece and EU. European Commission Pres Juncker seemed to be supportive of reforming Troika and ending the humiliating visits by lending inspectors, but also expressed opposition to granting a "haircut" for Greek creditors.***Equities***US markets: - RSH: Standard General said to be in talks to lead bankruptcy auction for RadioShack - financial press- CCO: TPG Capital and Blackstone said to be targeting European business of the company estimated to be valued around 1.6B - UK press- XOM: United Steelworkers union(USW) issued notices of a potential strike action at several US refineries as current contract expires this weekend- TRW: NHTSA says several car makers to recall 2.1M vehicles due to faulty airbag sensor provided by TRW; earlier repair was not fully effectiveNotable movers by sector:- Consumer Discretionary: Ricoh 7752.JP -3.1% (9-month results); Kathmandu Holdings KMD.AU -26.2% (H1 guidance)- Financials: China Life Insurance 2628.HK -2.0% (FY14 guidance); China Minsheng Bank 1988.HK -3.8% (president resigned, said to be investigated for corruption)- Materials: Aluminum Corporation of China 601600.CN -6.0% (FY14 guidance)- Energy: Lonestar Resources LNR.AU +13.2% (Q4 results)- Industrials: Takata Corp 7312.JP -3.0% (press speculation on earnings); Hitachi 6501.JP -1.8% (press speculation on earnings); Skymark Airlines 9204.JP -81.5% (resumes trading after confirming to file for bankruptcy); Sumitomo Chemical 4005.JP +9.0% (9-month results); Honda Motor 7267.JP +3.9% (9-month results)- Technology: Seiko Epson Corp 6724.JP -10.7% (9-month results); Fujitsu Ltd 6702.JP +9.9% (9-month results)- Utilities: TEPCO 9501.JP -3.2% (9-month results); J-Power 9513.JP +7.1% (9-month results); Kyushu Electric Power 9508.JP -5.3% (9-month results); Kansai Electric Power 9503.JP -6.6% (9-month results)- Telecom: KDDI Corp 9433.JP -2.8% (9-month results) - Source


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