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Wednesday February 4, 2015 - 09:12:55 GMT
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| | Email Asian Mid-session Update: Hong Kong, China Services PMIs decline further; RBNZ's Wheeler clarifies neutral stance - Source

(CN) CHINA JAN HSBC SERVICES PMI: 51.8 V 53.4 PRIOR; 6-month low - (HK) HONG KONG JAN HSBC PMI: 49.4 V 50.3 PRIOR - (JP) JAPAN JAN MARKIT SERVICES PMI: 51.3 V 51.7 PRIOR - (JP) JAPAN DEC LABOR CASH EARNINGS Y/Y: 1.6% V 1.6%E - (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN AIG PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES INDEX: 49.9 V 47.5 PRIOR (11th consecutive contraction) - (AU) AUSTRALIA Q4 NAB BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: 2 V 6 PRIOR; Conditions +4 v +4 prior - (NZ) NEW ZEALAND Q4 EMPLOYMENT CHANGE Q/Q: 1.2% (matches 7-quarter high) V 0.8%E; Y/Y: 3.5% V 3.0%E - (NZ) NEW ZEALAND Q4 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 5.7% V 5.3%E; Participation rate 69.7% v 69.1%e - (UK) UK JAN BRC SHOP PRICE INDEX Y/Y: -1.3% V -1.6%E (20TH CONSECUTIVE DECLINE) ***Index Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT)***- Nikkei225 +2.1%, S&P/ASX +0.6%, Kospi +0.7%, Shanghai Composite +0.3%, Hang Seng +0.9%, Mar S&P500 -0.1% at 2,040***Commodities/Fixed Income***- Apr gold +0.2% at $1,263, Mar crude oil -1.7% at $52.13/brl- (US) API PETROLEUM INVENTORIES: CRUDE: +6.1M (4th week of build) v +3.5Me, GASOLINE: +2.0M v +0e, DISTILLATE: +0.28M v -1.5Me - SLV: iShares Silver Trust ETF daily holdings fall to 9,963 tonnes from 9,967 tonnes priors - GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall 1.8 tonnes to 764.9 tonnes; first fall since Jan 21st - (JP) BOJ offers to buy 400B in 1-3yr JGBs, 400B in 3-5yr JGBs and 400B in 5-10yr JGBs - (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$800M in 3.25% bonds due 2025; Avg yield: 2.3998%; Bid-to-cover: 3.02x ***Market Focal Points/FX***- Subsiding worries over Greece and a week-long rally in oil prices are lifting the broader sentiment, with 2nd consecutive session of strong gains on Wall Street boosting regional indices in Asia. Nikkei225 is leading the rally with a 2% gain, helped by a 50pip rise in USD/JPY toward the 118 level. AUD/USD and NZD/USD are also responding to risk-on flows, rising 70pips and 140pips respectively from session lows.- Disappointing PMIs from China and Hong Kong do not appear sufficiently potent to spoil the rally. China HSBC Services hit a 6-month low - tracking a 1-year low in official non-manufacturing figure posted over the weekend. HSBC chief economist noted slower pace of services expansion, reiterating preference for more easing measures to support growth in the coming months. Hong Kong PMI returned to contraction after popping above the 50-threshold for the first time in 5 months in December. HSBC economist stated Hong Kongs economy remains relatively subdued at the start of 2015, with slower growth domestically as well as in Mainland China continuing to weigh on demand.- In New Zealand, Gov Wheeler clarified the RBNZ will keep rates at current level for some time, and only a weakening in domestic demand would warrant a rate cut. Wheeler added house price inflation appears to be rising in Auckland, and New Zealand economic prospects appear to be positive. Traders positioning for a more dovish speech in the wake of the surprise introduction of an easing bias in last week's decision covered their shorts, sending NZD/USD sharply higher. In Australia, PM Abbott lauded lower interest rates delivered by the RBA yesterday in hopes of forestalling a potential leadership challenge from members of his own party.- Support for the dovish BOJ camp with press-speculated appointment of QE-friendly Harada to the Board did not materialize in Parliament - presumably due to concern of a political challenge from the opposition. Instead, markets were treated to familiar rhetoric from PM Abe and BOJ Gov Kuroda. Abe said he expects the BOJ to proceed with bold easing policy, but would also contemplate changing Japan law guaranteeing central bank independence if warranted. In turn, Kuroda remarked he still believes CPI would likely reach 2% around FY15, but also said he never claimed the inflation objective would be achieved in exactly 2 years. USD/JPY pared the initial session gains toward 118 to retreat to 117.75.***Equities***US markets: - ENTR: To be Acquired by MaxLinear for $3.01/shr in transaction valued at $287M in cash and stock; +10.0% afterhours- TTWO: Reports Q3 $1.87 v $1.52e, R$954M v $782Me; +7.2% afterhours- SJM: To Acquire Big Heart Pet Brands in $5.8B cash and stock deal; +4.8% afterhours- DIS: Reports Q1 $1.27 v $1.08e, R$13.4B v $12.9Be; +3.8% afterhours- WDC: *RAISES DIVIDEND 25% TO $0.50/SHR, IMPLIED YIELD 2.0%; AUTHORIZES ADDITIONAL $2.0B OF SHARE REPURCHASES (8.8% of market cap); +0.3% afterhours- BP: CFTC preparing fraud case against BP - filing; -0.5% afterhours- M: Raises FY14 $4.35-4.37 v $4.35e (prior guided $4.25-4.35); -1.5% afterhours- AFL: Reports Q4 $1.29 (adj) v $1.30e, R$5.51B v $5.52Be; -1.7% afterhours- WYNN: Reports Q4 $1.20 v $1.44e, R$1.14B v $1.24Be; -4.4% afterhours- GILD: Reports Q4 $2.43 v $2.17e, R$7.2B v $6.69Be; Announces additional $15B buyback (9% of market cap); Initiates $0.43 dividend (indicated yield 1.6%); -4.5% afterhours- CMG: Reports Q4 $3.84 v $3.79e, R$1.07B v $1.07Be; -6.4% afterhours- MYGN: Reports Q2 $0.40 v $0.35e, R$184.4M v $183Me; Lowers FY15 $1.50-1.55 v $1.85e, R$730-740M v $790Me (prior $1.90-2.00, R$800-820M); -14.8% afterhoursNotable movers by sector:- Consumer Discretionary: Maoye International Holdings 848.HK +% (FY14 guidance); Wynn Macau 1128.HK +% (Q4 results); Panasonic Corporation 6752.JP -0.1% (Q3 results)- Financials: China Merchants Securities 600999.CN +% (received approval for SSE 50 ETF options market making business); Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306.JP +6.4% (9-month results); Mitsui & Co Ltd 8031.JP +1.7% (9-month results)- Materials: Whitehaven Coal WHC.AU +6.3% (CEO comments on coal price)- Energy: CNOOC 883.HK +% (FY14 production guidance); Senex Energy SXY.AU +12.9% (drilling report)- Industrials: Mitsubishi Motors 7211.JP -0.4% (9-month results); Nufarm Ltd NUF.AU -2.0% (plans cost cut and capex cut); Downer EDI DOW.AU +4.2% (awarded contract)- Technology: Sumitomo Electric Industries 5802.JP -2.9% (9-month results); Sharp 6753.JP -4.9% (9-month results) - Source


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