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Wednesday February 18, 2015 - 05:52:15 GMT
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| | Email Asian Mid-session Update: BOJ raises assessment on Output and Exports; Bundesbank to push for cap in Greece ELA borrowing - Source

- (AU) AUSTRALIA JAN WESTPAC LEADING INDEX M/M: 0.1% V 0.0% PRIOR - (AU) Australia DEC Conference Board Leading index m/m: 0.4% v 0.1% prior (2nd consecutive increase) ***Index Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT)***- Nikkei225 +1.0%, S&P/ASX +0.9%, Kospi closed, Shanghai Composite closed, Hang Seng +0.1%, Mar S&P500 flat at 2,096***Commodities/Fixed Income***- Apr gold -0.2% at $1,207/oz, Mar crude oil +0.2% at $53.35/brl, Mar Copper -0.4% at $2.57/lb- (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$800M in 3.25% bonds due 2025; Avg yield 2.6139%; Bid-to-cover: 2.94x ***Market Focal Points/FX***- Australia's S&P/ASX index has topped 5,900, its highest level since May 2008, amid continued heavy dose of earnings down under. Woodside Petroleum - Australia's top oil producer - is up over 4% after reporting FY14 Revenue up 25%, production up 9%, and profits up over 40% all despite the recent freefall in crude prices. Woodside also affirmed its FY15 output forecast and lowered CapEx by 20% to $6.2B. High-profile M&A is also helping lift sentiment, as pension fund Japan Post announced plans to acquire Toll holdings for A$6.5B, a new 50% premium to yesterday's close, sending its shares up by over 45%. Australia economic data saw marginal improvements in rates of growth of Westpac Leading Index and Conference Board index. Westpac economist joined Morgan Stanley in expectation for RBA to follow up February's rate cut with another one in March, though the latter noted that the impact from monetary policy is becoming more marginal - sentiment similar to that of the latest RBA meeting minutes. RBA's Edwards also remarked it was difficult to determine when a pickup in investment might occur, while a note out of RBS warned Australia's sovereign rating is at risk if its budget report proves to be disappointing. AUD/USD was still slightly firmer, trading as high as $0.7830 or about 25pips from today's lows.- Bank of Japan policy decision contained few surprises, maintaining overall economic assessment of "moderate recovery trend" but also raising its assessment of output and exports as speculated earlier in local press. BOJ said both exports and output have been picking up, but also noted Y/Y rate of increase in CPI was now seen around 0.5% vs last month's view of "0.5-1.0% range". Moreover, BOJ removed the references to dissipating effects of decline in demand related to last April's consumption tax hike. USD/JPY initially fell about 25pips below 118.90 but quickly recovered above 119.10 on mixed BOJ messages over economy and inflation. Earlier, PM Abe pledged to monitor govt spending to make sure Japan attains a more healthy fiscal state.- Going into the non-monetary meeting of the ECB, financial press circulated rumors that Bundesbank's Weidmann will push against allowing any extra emergency lending to Greek banks via the ELA program. That facility was recently expanded to 65B from 60B, however the report noted that rising outflows late last week have already drained much of that liquidity from Greek banks. Weidmann's agenda will certainly be perceived as having political undertones, with the two sides remaining conflicted on whether the Greeks' next move will be the extension of the bailout demanded by Berlin, a "bridge loan" program favored by Athens, or (most likely) fall somewhere in the middle. EUR/USD was confined to a 20pip range in the Asia session, trading just above the $1.14 handle.***Equities***US markets: - JACK: Reports Q1 $0.93 v $0.87e, R$468M v $460Me; +4.2% afterhours- DVN: Reports Q4 $0.84 v $1.10e, R$6.00B v $4.20Be; +0.5% afterhours- A: Reports Q1 $0.41 (adj) v $0.41e, R$1.03B v $1.03Be; +0.3% afterhours- CF: Reports Q4 $4.82 v $5.04e, R$1.22B v $1.14Be; -0.9% afterhours- FE: Reports Q4 $0.80 v $0.76e, R$3.50B v $4.29Be; -1.1% afterhours- ADI: Reports Q1 $0.63 v $0.60e, R$772M v $760Me; -1.7% afterhours- RAX: Reports Q4 $0.26 v $0.19e, R$472M v $474Me; -4.7% afterhours- FOSL: Reports Q4 $3.00 v $3.10e, R$1.07B v $1.12Be; -13.0% afterhours- PERY: Guides Q4 $0.01-0.04 v $0.43e, Rev $218M v $242Me; blames West Coast port disruption; -16.5% afterhoursNotable movers by sector:- Consumer Discretionary: Bega Cheese BGA.AU -3.6% (H1 results); ARB Corp ARP.AU +4.4% (H1 results)- Financials: Mizuho Financial Group 8411.JP +1.3% (to acquire stake in Philippines bank); Aveo Group AOG.AU +3.6% (H1 results); Insurance Australia IAG.AU -7.8% (H1 results); Ardent Leisure Group AAD.AU -13.7% (H1 results)- Materials: Toll Holdings TOL.AU +46.7% (acquisition by Japan Post)- Energy: Woodside Petroleum WPL.AU +4.2% (FY14 results); Sinopec 386.HK +4.7%, PetroChina 857.HK +3.1%, CNOOC 883.HK +2.7% (Chinese officials said to consider merge among petro-chemical companies)- Industrials: Fletcher Building Limited FBU.NZ -5.0% (H1 results) - Source


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