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Friday March 20, 2015 - 05:24:43 GMT
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| | Email Asian Mid-session Update: EU leaders, Tsipras exit meeting more optimistic; BOJ minutes show rising concern over JGB volatility; RBA's Stevens leaves door open for more cuts ***Econom

(NZ) NEW ZEALAND FEB CREDIT CARD SPENDING M/M: -0.1% V 2.0% PRIOR; Y/Y: 5.8% V 6.2% PRIOR - (NZ) NEW ZEALAND MAR ANZ CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX: 124.6 v 124.0 PRIOR; M/M: +0.5% V -3.8% PRIOR - (NZ) NEW ZEALAND FEB ANZ JOB ADVERTISEMENTS M/M: +0.7% V -1.1% PRIOR - (NZ) New Zealand Feb Net Migration: 4.8K v 5.5K prior - (US) NORTH AMERICA FEB SEMI BOOK/BILL RATIO: 1.02 V 1.04 PRIOR; 2nd month above parity ***Index Snapshot (as of 02:30 GMT)***- Nikkei225 +0.1%, S&P/ASX +0.2%, Kospi -0.3%, Shanghai Composite +0.2%, Hang Seng -0.2%, Jun S&P500 +0.2% at 2,084***Commodities/Fixed Income***- Apr gold -0.1% at $1,169, May crude oil flat at $45.64/brl- (JP) BOJ offers to buy 1.5T in T-bills - (AU) Australia MoF (AOFM) sells A$700M in 3.25% bonds due 2018; Avg yield 1.8195%; Bid-to-cover: 4.74x - (US) Weekly Fed Balance Sheet Total Assets for week ending Mar 18th: $4.50T v $4.49T prior; M1 y/y change: 9.4% v 9.5% w/w; M2 y/y change: 6.1% v 6.0% w/w ***Market Focal Points/FX***- EU leaders and Greece PM Tsipras held last-ditch talks to find common ground related to Greek reforms-for-aid plans amid a notable deterioration of good will on both sides and also a decline in investors confidence over a positive outcome for Athens in recent days. Both sides appear to have been pleased with today's talks - PM Tsipas said the relief process is back on track after today's meeting, as all sides agreed to restore financing of Greek economy; Germany's Merkel noted the basis of reforms is still grounded in the Feb 20th decision, Greece will present a more detailed and adequate list of reforms planned in the next few days, and that no funds will be paid to Athens until the review of Greek reforms has been concluded. EUR/USD rose to session highs just shy of the $1.07 handle following the EU statement.- Trading in other major USD pairs remains subdued. Among the most notable, AUD/USD is up about 40pips above $0.7680 and NZD/USD up nearly 50pips as high as $0.7450. AUD rally was briefly contained by comments from RBA Gov Stevens delivering an address at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia luncheon. Stevens left the door open to further policy easing, adding the decline in the exchange rate is probably not yet finished. He also acknowledged declining cofindence among companies and households but talked down worries of a potential budget crisis looming for Australia.- In Japan, BOJ Gov Kuroda reiterated CPI will likely reach 2% in or around FY15, even though the central bank further scaled back its inflation outlook in its policy meeting earlier this week. Meeting minutes for last month saw board members holding a similar opinion, even though the MOF representative on the board stopped urging that the time-based inflation objective is maintained. Some members noted an increase in volatility in the JGB market, and a few questioned sustainability of JGB purchases at current pace. Separately, a Nikkei report in late US session speculated that the cabinet office (govt) will raise its monthly economic assessment for the first time since July 2014 when the report is published on Monday. Japan has held assessment unchanged since November, when it was lowered following another round of QE by the central bank. USD/JPY was little changed in today's session, trading in a 25pip range above 120.60.***Equities***US markets/ADRs: - PRTA: Reports Phase 1 Trials Shows Robust Reduction of Free Serum Alpha-Synuclein of up to 96% After Single Dose of PRX002, a Novel Protein Immunotherapy for Parkinson's Disease; +40.3% afterhours- CTRP: Reports Q4 -$0.11 (adj) v -$0.31e, R$326M v $308Me; Names COO Jie Sun as co-President; +8.4% afterhours- NKE: Reports Q3 $0.89 v $0.84e, R$7.46B v $7.64Be; +4.5% afterhours- MFRM: Reports Q4 $0.41 (adj) v $0.47e, R$598.3M v $566Me; +3.1% afterhours- NWY: Reports Q4 -$0.01 v $0.00e, R$267.4M v $267Me; +3.1% afterhours- AMZN: FAA awards Amazon experimental airworthiness certificate for drones; +0.1% afterhours- AKS: Guides Q1 -$0.23 to -$0.28 v +$0.03e, citing lower than expected spot steel prices; -9.5% afterhours- BHI: Halliburton & Baker Hughes planning to sell at least 4 businesses in Apr, total valued at $10B - financial pressNotable movers by sector:- Consumer Discretionary: Li & Fung Ltd 494.HK -6.1% (FY14 results); VST Holdings 856.HK +6.9% (FY14 results)- Financials: Ping An Insurance 601318.CN +3.6% (FY14 results)- Materials: Beijing New Building Material 000786.CN +3.7% (FY14 results)- Energy: Karoon Gas Australia KAR.AU -17.8% (issues progress report on exploration well)- Technology: BlueFocus Communication Group 300058.CN +6.0% (FY14 results); Rakuten Inc 4755.JP +2.3% (acquisition); Toshiba Corporation 6502.JP +3.1% (starts image sensor production); FIH Mobile 2038.HK +8.0% (prelim FY14 results)- Telecom: China Mobile 941.HK -1.5% (FY14 results) - Source


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