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Monday February 9, 2015 - 06:36:58 GMT
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| | Email Asian Mid-session Update: China imports down sharply; Greece PM Tsipras hardens stance - Source

(CN) CHINA JAN TRADE BALANCE: $60.0B V $48.9BE (record high surplus); Exports Y/Y: -3.3% v 9.7% prior; Imports Y/Y: -19.9% (biggest decline since May 2009) v -2.4% prior - (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN ANZ JOB ADS M/M: 1.3% V 1.8% PRIOR (8th consecutive increase) - (JP) JAPAN DEC CURRENT ACCOUNT: 187B V 356BE; ADJ CURRENT ACCOUNT: 977B V 941BE; TRADE BALANCE: -396B V -472BE - (JP) JAPAN JAN BANK LENDING (INCL TRUSTS): 2.5% V 2.6% PRIOR; BANK LENDING (EX- TRUSTS): 2.6% V 2.8%E ***Index Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT)***- Nikkei225 +0.4%, S&P/ASX -0.7%, Kospi -0.2%, Shanghai Composite +0.3%, Hang Seng -0.4%, Mar S&P500 -0.4% at 2,044***Commodities/Fixed Income***- Apr gold +0.2% at $1,236, Mar crude oil +1.3% at $52.34/brl- (JP) BOJ offers to buy 70B in JGBs with maturity less than 1-yr, 400B in 5-10yr JGBs and 2.5T in T-bills ***Market Focal Points/FX***- After last week's surprising contraction in China official manufacturing PMI - the first in 2 years - latest trade figures released over the weekend are showing few signs of improvement. While the headline trade balance saw a record-high surplus, it was primarily the result of the biggest y/y decline in imports in over 5 years, as exports also showed a marginal drop. Shipments to US were up 4.7%, but imports to Europe fell 4.6% and to Japan by a whopping 20%. Slump in demand for raw materials was still the culprit on the imports side, as iron ore arrivals fell 9.5% in volume and 50% in value. Likewise, crude oil imports were down 8% in volume and 42% in value. AUD saw moderate impact from the data, falling over 40pips in early trade below $0.7750. Analysts also speculated on the likelihood of more PBoC easing in the trade data aftermath - BoCom economist anticipates 1-2 more RRR cuts over 2015, while ANZ said trade numbers add to the case that domestic demand remains sluggish.- Australia PM Abbott survived a leadership challenge from his party but only by a narrow 61 to 39 vote margin. Abbott, who pushed the vote forward by a day, remarked the economy is strong as the govt would focus on improving livelihoods. Conspicuously, he dodged media questions over whether his party leadership was contingent upon any policy changes or given a deadline to improve the standing of the ruling Liberal party. Analyst at RBC said Abbott's authority has still been weakened considerably, as the spill motion defeat does not end uncertainty. Separately, ANZ job ads marked an 8th consecutive month of sequential improvement, potentially boding well for the official employment data due out later this week.- Effectiveness of weaker Yen in restoring balance of payments remains questionable, as Japan's current account surplus shrank for the 4th straight year to its smallest level on record in 2014. Analysts noted persistent trade deficit contributing to the decline, but also forecasted recovery in 2015 due to much cheaper oil prices. Likewise, BOJ's Morimoto said it was more critical to watch broader trends of prices rather than scrutinize CPI levels, but also added the CPI measurement would begin to rise as base effect of lower oil dissipates. USD/JPY pared some of the steep advance seen in the wake of the much stronger than expected non-farm payrolls on Friday, falling about 40pips below 118.90.- Greek PM Tsipras took a notably more hard line in a weekend speech, stating Greece does not want a debt extension but rather a "bridge program" to get out from the yoke of austerity. In the mean time, Tsipras reiterated plans to return minimum wage to 750/mo from 580/mo by 2016, reopen state media, go after tax dodgers, suspend fire sale of state assets, and grant relief to elderly pensioners. Furthermore, Tsipras renewed talks of going after WW2 "reparations" from Germany, which the party has previously estimated to be over 160B. Syriza's Fin Min Varoufakis was just as blunt, warning the euro zone would likely collapse if Greece was forced out of the union, as borrower states discover "it is impossible to remain inside the straitjacket of austerity." To that end, latest polls from Spain saw support for the anti-austerity Podemos party at 27.7%, well ahead of the ruling centre-right People's Party and the Socialists' at 20.9% and 18.3% respectively.***Equities***US markets: - MSI: Reportedly Motorola Solutions has hired advisors to consider a possible sale of the company - financial pressNotable movers by sector:- Consumer Discretionary: Ansell ANN.AU +4.5% (H1 results) - Consumer staples: Want Want China Holdings 151.HK -4.1% (FY14 guidance)- Financials: Aveo Group AOG.AU -3.1% (acquisition); Poly Real Estate 600048.CN -1.3% (Jan sales results)- Materials: Energy Resources of Australia ERA.AU -1.8% (FY14 results); China Fiberglass 600176.CN +2.6%, Beijing New Building Material 000786.CN +2.1% (China National Building Material Company receives approval for mixed-ownership reform trial)- Industrials: Worley Parsons WOR.AU +1.8% (enters contract); Isuzu Motors 7202.JP +3.3% (9-month results); Kubota Corp 6326.JP +4.9% (9-month results)- Technology: Asahi Glass 5201.JP +7.1% (FY14 results); Rakuten Inc 4755.JP -1.5% (speculation on FY14 results)- Telecom: NTT 9432.JP +4.6% (9-month results) - Source


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