Feb 1 Asian Macro Initial Thoughts Asia to open lower ahead fo PMI data and US Futures remain weak


01 Feb

Asian Futures Nikkei Futures opened -45pts and sold down in early trading ahead of the Manufacturing PMI data due this morning,  HK ADR’s -17pts and Australia -1% in early trades.  Perth in lockdown, ending Australia's 2-week run without COVID-19. China’s likely to open lower after official PMI data at the weekend missed forecasts and the Caixin PMI data is due just after the open this morning. There is also concern about the PBoC draining liquidity in the run up to the Chinese New Year.

US Futures opened Dow 107pts, S&P -0.5% and NDX -0.8%. In focus will be earnings with 99 S&P companies set to report. Alphabet, Amazon, Alibaba, Snap, Exxon, Biogen, Pfizer and Chipotle being amongst them.  The stimulus package negotiations with 10 Republican’s proposing a $600bn deal, less than a third of Biden’s proposal.  Covid cases and vaccination rolls out and Retail trading with some blaming the recent situation on no commission trading, availability to retail trading apps, low interest rates and stimulus cheques.

Atlantic Council Strategy Paper was published last week. It’s anonymous author, self-described as a former senior government official with deep China expertise and experience.  Its aim is nothing less than to shape Biden administration strategy toward Beijing; with President Xi Jinping as its prime focus. The author argues that any U.S. strategy would need to be based on “the four fundamental pillars of American power:” the power of its military, the dollar’s role as the global reserve currency and mainstay of the international financial system, continued global technological leadership, and the values of individual freedom, fairness and rule of law “despite recent political divisions and difficulties.”

JAPAN 
Nikkei futures opened -28pts but then sold down were -90pts in early trades, expect market to open lower again. Yen closed slightly weaker 104.68, attributed to end of month rebalancing. Tokyo stocks ended sharply lower Friday, with the Nikkei index logging the biggest one-day drop in about six months.
Data due Manufacturing PMI for Jan (Dec was 50 and F/cast is 49.7)
Tokyo reported 633 new covid cases on Sunday, (down 136 from Saturday)  remaining below 1,000 the metropolitan government said.  The lowest since Dec 20. Japan began arrangements Saturday to extend the state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic for up to another month in Tokyo and other areas continuing to see a high number of infections, sources familiar with the matter said.  Concerns that the recent rise in covid cases will prompt less spending and more saving adding the problem of a deeper retail recession and deflation. -VE for sentiment.
Only around 37% of firms in Japanese prefectures under the current state of emergency have met the government's target of cutting commuters by 70% or more to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, a business lobby survey shows.
AstraZeneca Plc will file for Japanese approval of its COVID-19 vaccine as early as mid-February, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, making it the second vaccine maker to seek approval in Japan.
Japan’s vaccine rollout chief said on Friday that growing nationalism over supplies of COVID-19 shots could lead to retaliation and disruptions to global supplies.
PM Suga said on Friday that Japan remained determined that the Olympics would go ahead as planned in Tokyo this summer.  Japan’s Olympic sponsors are scaling back advertising campaigns and delaying marketing events for this year’s Summer Games, concerned that public sentiment toward the event is souring amid a fresh wave of COVID-19.  Insurers are facing a $2-3 billion loss if the Tokyo Olympics are cancelled this year, amounting to the largest ever claim in the global event cancellation market, brokers say.
The number of foreign nationals who entered Japan in 2020 dropped by 86.2% from the previous year to 4.31 million. It is the largest decline since records first started being kept in 1950, according to the preliminary figures released by the Immigration Services Agency of Japan on Friday. The decline is because of the government strengthening its quarantine measures in response to the spread of novel coronavirus infections.
Panasonic Corp. has decided to scrap its unprofitable solar cell manufacturing operations amid ever-increasing price competition, it was learned Sunday.  Solar cell production at the company’s Malaysian plant and its unit in Unnan, Shimane Prefecture, will be terminated by the end of March 2022.  Panasonic faces stiffer competition from Chinese and other foreign solar cell makers.  Despite the ending of its solar cell production, Panasonic will still continue sales of solar power systems to households and businesses.
Toshiba Corp returned to First Section trading Friday after about a 3½-year absence. By liquidating unprofitable businesses and cutting costs, the company has achieved a certain level of business reconstruction. In the future, the key will be whether the company can get on a growth path by making renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power a new pillar of its business. Slight +VE
ANA Holdings Inc reported Friday a record net loss of 309.58 billion yen ($2.96 billion) in the April to December period, as the major Japanese airline has been reeling from the global coronavirus pandemic that hurt travel demand at home and abroad. The loss is a reversal from a net profit of 86.45 billion yen in the same period last year, underscoring the severity of the hit from the spread of the novel coronavirus to the airline industry.
A demonstration of tidal current power generation will be carried out in early February off the coast of Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture, as the nation’s first test using large-scale equipment. The test will be conducted by firms including Kyushu Electric Power subsidiary Kyuden Mirai Energy Co., which is based in Fukuoka, under commission from the Environment Ministry. They will test the effectiveness of power generation using the flow of the ocean tides as a new renewable energy source. +VE
Japan's job availability ratio in 2020 logged the sharpest drop since 1975, while the average unemployment rate marked the first rise in 11 years, highlighting the magnitude of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic on workers, government data showed Friday. -VE

SOUTH KOREA 
Markets expected to be under pressure; after the Kospi index closed below 3,000 on Friday, after four days of selling.  Market volatility is expected to remain high over massive foreign selling and profit-taking. Large caps are likely to undergo stronger price adjustment, as foreign investors are expected to keep selling amid the weakening Korean won against the US currency,
Data due Monday Balance of Trade, Exports, Imports and Manufacturing PMI
KDCA reported 458 more COVID-19 cases, including 423 locally transmitted infections, raising the total caseload to 77,850 .
Government will extend its social distancing curbs by two weeks until the end of the Lunar New Year holidays as new COVID-19 infection clusters emerge in the country, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Sunday.  Now due to end Feb 14 after the Seollal holiday.
South Korea’s presidential office on Friday issued a rebuke to an opposition leader who accused it of “abetting the enemy” after a news report that Seoul had planned to build a nuclear plant in North Korea. Local broadcaster SBS unveiled a prosecution indictment listing more than a dozen documents from the energy ministry that suggested a previously unknown project to set up a nuclear plant in North Korea.  Energy ministry said on Sunday that documents about a potential plan to build a nuclear power plant in North Korea were meant to suggest an "idea" but this has never been pursued as an official project.
South Korea has delayed until Sunday any easing of social distancing measures because outbreaks involving mission schools are threatening to undermine efforts to keep new infections under control ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays. The number of cases linked to Christian schools nationwide grew further on Friday, reaching 344 infections in total in seven facilities.
The number of subscribers to 5G network services in South Korea as of last year reached 11.85 million, according to government data, Sunday. Mobile data traffic using 5G networks too surged, due to the increasing number of 5G users, the government also reported.
South Korean telecom operators are redoubling efforts to support teleconference and virtual education services as the prolonged pandemic limits in-person contact and encourages work-from-home practices.  +VE
DRAM and NAND flash are expected to be the two semiconductor products that outshine this year, a report showed Saturday, boding well for South Korean chipmakers that dominate the world's memory chip market.   Sales growth projected for DRAM +18% and NAND flash +17%, making them the two sharpest-growing chips among the 33 integrated circuit products in 2021, according to the McClean Report released by market tracker IC Insights.
South Korea’s top financial regulator is likely to extend the temporary ban on short selling by institutional and foreign investors until as late as June, as it plans to establish a system that would enable individual investors to short sell stocks around that time, market officials said Sunday.
Steelmakers have launched talks with shipbuilders over prices of thick steel plates, which are mainly used for shipbuilding, people familiar with the matter said Saturday. Posco, the country's largest steelmaker, said it is pushing to raise prices of thick steel plates; a key material that accounts for about one-fifth of shipbuilding costs, by up to 15%. The move is meant to reflect increased costs of iron ore, one of the main raw materials used in steel production. The recent rise in raw materials could eat into steelmakers' bottom lines unless they are able to pass the costs on.
Korea National Oil Corp. is seeking to sell off its stakes in oil and gas fields in the British, Dutch and Danish North Sea, according to foreign media reports. +VE
Doosan Heavy Industries’ two coal-fired plants worth 1 trillion won ($896.7 million) in Vietnam have been connected to the country’s electricity grid, according to foreign media reports.  In 2015, Doosan won Song Hau 1 project that consists of two 600-megawatt thermal power plants from the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group. +VE
SK Innovation’s revenue fell to 34.16 trillion won ($34.16 billion) last year, -30.7% YOY from 49.87 trillion won, as the pandemic dealt a massive blow to its petrochemical business. -VE
SsangYong Motor Co., the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said Friday its fourth-quarter net losses widened from a year earlier due to weak sales amid the coronavirus pandemic. For the three months ended December, net losses deepened to 173.6 billion won ($155 million) from 155.9 billion won in the year-ago period, the company said in a statement. -VE
LG International, the trading arm of LG Group, saw its operating profit +18.5% YoY in 2020, on the back of the improved profitability in logistics, the company said Friday in a regulatory filing. Data showed that the company’s yearly sales came to 11.28 trillion won ($10.06 billion), +7.1% YoY, and its operating profit reached 159.8 billion won, up 18.5% during the same period. +VE
The number of 5G subscribers in South Korea approached nearly 12 million last year since the launch of the latest mobile network in April 2019, data showed Friday. South Korea's 5G users stood at 11.85 million as of end-December last year, up over 900,000 from the previous month, according to the data from the Ministry of Science and ICT. +VE
SK Hynix Inc’s Q4 earnings more than tripled after lockdowns and stay-at-home orders boosted demand for PCs and purchases from Chinese smartphone makers. It struck a more optimistic tone than rival Samsung Electronics Co, which had a day earlier warned of weakness in its first quarter.  Hynix yesterday said that it expects the memory market to recover, but warned of uncertainty over disruptions to supply from the COVID-19 pandemic and a tightening in global chipmaking capacity. “Demand this year is going to be much more positive than the supply side,” Hynix DRAM marketing vice president MS Park said. “Both the market and customers appear to be upwardly adjusting their outlook.” Hynix’s operating profit rose to 965.9 billion won (US$863.95 billion) in the fourth quarter, beating the average estimate of 928 billion won, while revenue climbed about 15 percent to 7.97 trillion won. +VE

TAIWAN Expect market to open lower although the downside likely to be limited by the good GDP data out Friday and the positive outlook for Tech. 
Data due pre market Jan Manufacturing PMI (Dec was 59.5 F/cast is 59)
After Market Friday
GDP Growth Rate Q4 +4.94% YoY vs +3.92% Q3 (F/cast was 3.61%)
The fastest increase in nearly a decade, beating the expansion forecast by the government in November last year, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday. The expansion came on the back of strong exports, the agency added. Telecommuting and distance learning, and new technology applications, spurred external demand, adding 5.12 percentage points to GDP growth last quarter, national income section official Wu Pei-shuan told a media briefing in Taipei.
Government and industry officials, including chipmakers, are to discuss deepening supply chain partnerships with top US officials in a virtual meeting on Friday next week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. +VE
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced the public spaces that a confirmed COVID-19 case (No. 908), whose positive test result was reported on Saturday, had visited on Monday and Tuesday last week.
The US would continue to fulfill its commitments to Taiwan’s self-defense needs and to the security of the Indo-Pacific region, US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday. The comments came after Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesman Colonel Wu Qian (吳謙) defended Beijing’s increased military activity in the Taiwan Strait, saying that Taiwan “independence means war.”  Kirby said that Wu’s remarks were “unfortunate and certainly not commensurate with our intention to meet our obligations under the [US] Taiwan Relations Act.”  +VE for sentiment
Hon Hai Precision Industry yesterday released its first-generation electric vehicle (EV) developer tool, “Evkit,” as part of the company’s ongoing venture into the development of electric cars.  The tool, presented online, “will provide autonomous-driving developers an easily accessible interface to control the dynamics of the platform, and assist in system design and validation to vastly reduce development cost,” Jack Cheng chief executive officer of the Hon Hai-initiated MIH Open Platform Alliance, said in an open letter to alliance members.
Pegatron Corp is to sell half of its stake in a metal casing subsidiary Ri Kai Computer Accessory Co to Chinese rival Luxshare Precision Industry, aiming to expand its computer components business in China and refocus its regional resources to tap into better growth opportunities, the company said in a regulatory filing released on Thursday.  After the Luxshare deal, aimed to be completed by Wednesday, Pegatron would hold a 46.487 percent stake in Ri Kai and two seats on the metal casing manufacturer’s five-member board, it said.
Several members of the central bank’s board of directors have voiced concern over the appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar, saying that the government should craft a comprehensive policy to tackle the trend, which is especially hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The unease was conveyed in last month’s board meeting minutes, which were released on Thursday.
Fubon Financial Holding yesterday said that it is to extend its public tender offer for Jih Sun Financial Holding Co until March 23, as it has not yet gained approval from the Fair Trade Commission. Fubon Financial began the public tender offer on Dec. 22 last year after it announced its plan to acquire at least a 50 percent stake in Jih Sun on Dec.18.
CPC Corp, Taiwan and Formosa Petrochemical Corp yesterday announced that they would cut gasoline and diesel prices for this week, ending nine consecutive weeks of price hikes.  CPC said that it would reduce gasoline prices by NT$0.1 per liter to NT$25.0, NT$26.5 and NT$28.5 for 92, 95 and 98-octane unleaded gasoline respectively.  The price for premium diesel would also fall NT$0.1 per liter to NT$22.3, it added.

CHINA 
Expect market to open lower with concerns about the covid outbreak and US/China relations. Concerns remain about the PBoC draining further liquidity from the system in the run up to the Chinese New Year (Feb 11 -17)
Data due Caxin Manufacturing PMI Jan (Dec was 53.0 and F/cast is 52.5)
Out Sunday 
Manufacturing PMI Jan 51.3 vs 51.9 Dec (F/cast was 51.5)
Non Manufacturing PMI Jan 52.4 vs 55.7 Dec (F/cast was 55.4)
“Recently, local clusters of the epidemic emerged successively in many places across the country, and the production and operations of some enterprises were temporarily affected,” Chinese National Bureau of Statistics senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said. The data indicated that the business climate remains weak for small firms, although domestic consumption picked up ahead of the festive period.
Export demand slowed after Christmas as the pandemic continued spreading worldwide, the bureau added. China’s non manufacturing PMI saw a larger drop to 52.4, from 55.7 in December, taking a bigger hit from the domestic virus resurgence. Industries including accommodation and catering saw a “more significant” drop in activity, while the construction industry went into an off-season.
In response to the grave and complex coronavirus infections situation in Beijing, the capital authorities have told residents stay home during the Spring Festival holiday, the state media reports. People in Beijing are urged to avoid unnecessary outbound trips and gatherings, the city's health authority said Thursday in its daily virus infections update, Xinhua reports.
China recorded more than 2,000 new domestic coronavirus infections  in January, the highest monthly total since the tail end of the initial outbreak in Wuhan in Hubei province in March of last year.  The National Health Commission said Sunday that 2,016 infections were reported from January 1-30. That does not include another 435 infected people who arrived from abroad. The tally for January 31 is due to be released Monday.
Chinese authorities appear to be increasing pressure on the family members of COVID-19 victims in Wuhan, Hubei Province, where the World Health Organization has launched a full-scale investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.  An online chat group used by 100 people related to COVID-19 victims was suddenly shut down in mid-January. It is believed that authorities are wary that claims critical of their response to the pandemic from such people could affect the WHO investigation. “The investigation team should know the truth,” said a man whose father died. “It must not be a sham probe.”
The U.S. military said on Friday that Chinese military flights in the past week in the South China Sea fit a pattern of destabilizing and aggressive behavior by Beijing but posed no threat to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group in the region. On Thursday, China toughened its language towards Chinese-claimed Taiwan, warning after last weekend’s stepped-up military activity near the island that “independence means war” and that its armed forces were acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.  After reports that Chinese planes simulated an attack on a US carrier near Taiwan -VE for sentiment.
President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Friday the United States must be prepared to impose costs on China for its actions against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, its crackdown in Hong Kong and threats towards Taiwan.
China's real estate loan balance reached RMB49.58 trillion at the end of 2020, up 11.7% YoY, announced by PBoC. The growth rate dipped 3.1 ppts from a year earlier.  Comes as Beijing Bank Regulator orders a crackdown on illegal property loans.  A further sign of tightening.
Hungary became the European Union’s first member to approve China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, sealing a deal on Friday for 5 million doses just a week after becoming the first EU member to buy Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
Australia Trade Minister Dan Tehan says policy will be guided by the three P’s proactivity, principle and patience.  Comes as questions were raised about Canberra’s approach to Beijing.
HNA Group enters bankruptcy restructuring as China’s largest asset buyer succumbs to debt after decade-long shopping spree.  It had at least 1 trillion yuan (US$154.8 billion) of assets as recently as 2017, with at least 500 billion yuan of debt.   HNA Group said it would cooperate with the court’s review, push forward with the debt restructuring work and support the court to protect the legitimate  rights and interests of creditors, the company said.  Comes as press reports a total of 61.5 billion yuan ($9.57 billion) had been embezzled by shareholders and other related parties, Shanghai-listed Hainan Airlines Holding Co, HNA Infrastructure Investment Group Co and Shenzhen-listed CCOOP Group Co. The three companies and their subsidiaries had also provided non-compliant guarantees for 46.5 billion yuan in financing, according to the statements filed after creditors of their parent applied to a court for the conglomerate to be placed in bankruptcy and restructured.
Former human rights lawyer Guo Feixiong has a visa to fly to Washington to see his ill wife but was stopped at Shanghai airport accused of endangering national security. India sending more troops to disputed China border a sign that the dispute has no sign of abating.
WHO team in Wuhan said on Friday that team members would be limited to visits organized by their Chinese hosts and would not have any contact with community members, due to health restrictions.  No full itinerary for the team’s two weeks of field work has been announced, and journalists covering the tightly controlled visit have been kept at a distance from team members.
China’s new maritime police law comes into force Monday, which allows its coast guard vessels house weapons if the country’s sovereignty is deemed to be infringed.   Japan has voiced concern over how it may impact the Senkaku Islands.

HONG KONG  
ADR’s -17pts at 28,266 with E Commerce names seeing some interest along with HKEX but most other financials weak. 
No data due after market Friday 
GDP Growth Rate Advance Q4 +0.2% QoQ vs +2.7% Q3 revised (F/cast was +1.1%)
GDP Growth Rate Advance Q4 -3% YoY vs +3.6% Q3 revised (F/cast was -1.5%)
The moderate drop was attributed to the improvement in domestic and external demand. For 2020 as a whole, GDP contracted by 6.1 percent in real terms from 2019. Private consumption expenditure fell by 7.6 percent in the last quarter from a year earlier, from the 8.2 percent decline in the third quarter in 2020. For 2020 as a whole, private consumption expenditure fell by 10.2 percent year-on-year.Positive growth is expected in 2021, but the economic situation in the first half of the year will remain challenging and the degree and speed of recovery is subject to a host of uncertainties, especially those about the pandemic situation, a government spokesman said.
Short Selling  Friday 19.2% vs 18.7% Thursday 
Top Shorts Hengan (1044) 52%, Henderson Land (12) 47%, Ping An (2318) 47%, HK & China Gas (3) 39%, Country Garden (2007) 38%, CLP (2) 36%, MTRC (66) 35%, HSNC (5) 34%, Hang Seng Bank (11) 32%, Bud APAC (1876) 32%, New World Development (17) 31%, Sino Biopharm (1177) 29%, Bank of China (3988) 29%, CKI (1038) 29%, Wharf REIC (1997) 28%, China Life (2628) 28%, Galaxy Ent (27) 27%, WH Group (288) 27%, CKH (1) 26%, Sunny Optical (2382) 25%, China Res Land (1109) 25%, Sands China (1928) 25%.

Hong Kong residents can apply from Sunday for a new visa giving them the chance to become British citizens following China’s crackdown in the former colony, but Beijing said it will no longer recognise the special British (BNO) passport already in use.
NATIONAL SECURITY 
China sent an extra 100 cadres to work in its top Hong Kong office in the past year to make sure the city was ruled by patriots, the South China Morning Post said on Friday.
COVID The government will still use lockdowns requiring citizens to undergo compulsory Covid-19 testing in the future, but they will be smaller in scale to minimize impacts on citizens.  Comes as another surprise lockdown occurred at Laguna City Blocks Five and Seven was mandated Sunday evening.  The first time a major estate has been targeted.
The Government announced Friday (January 29) the launch of COVID-19 Vaccination Programme website (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk), which provides official and up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines on a one-stop basis.  When the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme is formally launched, the website will also provide detailed information on the Programme and be linked to the online booking system where people can reserve their vaccination slot at a chosen location.
PROFIT ALERTS 
CICC (03908.HK) Postive Profit Alert  estimates that the net profit attributable to shareholders for the year 2020 will range from RMB6.828 billion to RMB7.552 billion, representing a year-on-year increase between 61.1% and 78.2%.
MAANSHAN IRON (00323.HK) Positive Profit Alert   announced that based on a preliminary estimate by the finance department, the net profit for the year 2020 is estimated to reach approximately RMB1.979 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of approximately RMB851 million or approximately 75.44%.
SD GOLD (01787.HK) Positive Profit Alert  Pursuant to China Accounting Standards, it is expected that will record a growth in its profit attributable to the shareholders (between RMB2.0 billion to RMB2.65 billion) of 55% to 105% yearly for the year ended 31 December 2020.  During the 2020 Year, the gross profit generated from the sales of the Company’s self-produced gold increased significantly and achieved a greater year-on-year growth in profit.
WULING MOTORS (00305.HK) Positive Earnings Alert announced that the loss for the year ended 31 December 2020 is expected to be significantly decreased by more than 50% as compared to the loss for the year ended 31 December 2019.
WKK INTL (HOLD) (00532.HK) Positive Profit Alert The Group expects to record a profit after tax for the year ended 31 December 2020 of not less than HK$60 million compared to the profit after tax of HK$69.07 million for the year ended 31 December 2019.
PROFIT WARNINGS 
NWS HOLDINGS (00659.HK)  Profit Warning expecting that despite an estimated increase of over 40% in the attributable operating profit of the Group for the six months ended 31 December 2020 as compared with the interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2019, there will be a significant decrease in the profit in the range of 55% to 65% for the Current Period as compared with the Previous Period, due to the reclassification of an investment of the Group to an asset held-for-sale and the resultant re-measurement loss based on fair value as determined by the Board; the share of assets impairment and provision for expected credit loss from the Group’s investment in a joint venture, and so on.
PETROCHINA (00857.HK) Profit Warning announced that it is estimated the net profit of the Company for 2020 will decrease by an amount between RMB25 billion and RMB29 billion, representing a decrease between 55% and 63% as compared with the previous year. The estimated decrease in profit of the Company is primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 epidemic, causing the oil price to fall sharply and the sales volume of refined oil to decrease sharply.  With the effective control of the domestic COVID-19 epidemic, the Company's operating results have swung from losses to profits since June 2020 and have been improving on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
CHINA SOUTH AIR (01055.HK) Profit Warning  announced that based on preliminary financial information prepared by the finance department of the Company, it expects to record a loss in the results for the year of 2020 in an amount of RMB7.907-10.861 billion, against net profit of RMB2.651 billion for the previous year.
JUNSHI BIO (01877.HK) Profit Warning  Based on PRC enterprise accounting standards, expected the loss for the year ended 31 December 2020 to be around RMB1.644 billion, up about 120% from a year ago.

WATCH
Centaline Property Agency recorded 370 secondary transactions at 10 major housing estates in January, the highest since June 2014, amid hopes over Covid-19 vaccine rollouts and better Sino-US relations following Joe Biden's inauguration, according to Louis Chan Wing-kit, chief executive of Centaline Asia-Pacific residential operations.
But secondary deals at the 10 estates over the weekend -35.3% to 11 from a week ago, with more projects being launched in the primary market.
Wheelock Properties collected about HK$3.8 billion after selling 322 units at its Monaco development in Kai Tak. The developer expects to obtain presale consent for Phase 2 of Monaco in February.
China Evergrande (3333), sold 22 out of 253 units on offer at Emerald Bay Phase 2 in Tuen Mun within one hour after the sale began on Sunday.
Nan Fung Group sold 173 out of 218 units on offer at LP10 in Lohas Park on Saturday. The developer released 158 units in the fourth price list of LP10 on Saturday at an average price of HK$16,430 per sq ft after discounts. The cheapest flat in the fourth price list was offered at HK$7.66 million.
Sino Land (0083) sold 33 out of 50 units on offer at Silversands on Saturday. Sino Land also released 30 units in the second price list of Silversands at an average price of HK$21,614 per sq ft after discounts.
China’s Kuaishou Technology raised $5.4 billion from its IPO, the top of the range, with offers from retail investors reaching a mammoth $162 billion, nearly half of it backed by margin loans, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
CHINA SHENHUA (01088.HK) announced that the profit attributable to the equity holders of the Company for the Year 2020 is estimated to be approximately RMB35.9 billion, representing a year-on-year decrease of approximately 14%.
CGS (06881.HK)  announced that in accordance with the China Accounting Standards, net profit grew 38.6% yearly to RMB7.244 billion.  EPS equaled 71 fen.
TRAD CHI MED (00570.HK) made a statement on a news report regarding the proposal by its controlling shareholder, Sinopharm Hongkong, to privatise the Company. Sinopharm Hongkong is currently exploring a proposal to privatise the Company, which if proceeded with, could result in a delisting of the Company from the Stock Exchange. An application has been made for the resumption of trading in the Shares with effect from 1 February.
XIAOMI-W (01810.HK) sued the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of the Treasury, challenging a blacklist blocking U.S. investment in the Chinese giant, reported Bloomberg.
MSCI announced that Sci-tech Innovation Board shares available for investment through Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect are eligible for inclusion in MSCI China Index and other relevant indexes.
A spokesperson of Hong Kong Association of Banks said the super-low interest rate environment of Hong Kong will carry on for a while, with reference to the current economic landscape and anticipation for ample funds in Hong Kong. Given multiple macro uncertainties, prices of capital market assets will inevitably be exposed to these factors and see a sharper volatility, the spokesperson added.
EVERG SERVICES (06666.HK) announced that it had on 29 January acquired 100% of the equity interests in Ningbo Yatai Hotel Property Services for a total consideration of RMB1.5 billion.  Trading in the shares of the Company was halted at 1:00 p.m. today. An application has been made to the Stock Exchange for the resumption of trading in its shares from 9:00 a.m. on 1 February.
Lazada, the Southeast Asian e-commerce platform under BABA-SW (09988.HK), recorded over 200% YoY upsurge in order volume and seller size for the first six days of the January 19-28 shopping frenzy, reported Chinese media.
Skypoint Royale, jointly developed by Empire Group and HK FERRY (HOLD) (00050.HK), has issued the second price list, involving 56 flats in salable area of 208-349 sq. ft..  The discounted average floor price approximates $15,195, 1.1% higher than the first price list's.

DOW -2.03%, NDX -2%, S&P -1.93%, Russel 2K -1.57% on large volume with retail activity adding to the normal monthly window dressing and rotation. Markets opened lower saw an early bounce but then trended lower, hitting days lows around lunchtime.  PM saw an attempt at a recovery but in choppy trading.  Retail/day trading activity continued in key short sold stocks and GameStop +68% as Robinhood said it would allow limited buying (of stock and call options) having increased its capital to facilitate trading.  Concern is that holders of shorts will be forced to liquidate other positions to fund margins (the new borrow cost is 50% and to add to existing is 29.3%). Data shows many still holding short positions; which is interesting as most hedge funds operate strict stop loss positions and as the Market Thinking article referred to above points out Value at Risk models. Many Asian funds will be aware of the issues from trading stocks in Asia that are dominated by retail investors; especially those in China. The big risk now is that day traders realise that the stock is now a bubble, those trading on margin are most at risk.  It would be interesting to know how many hedge fund are also now involved?  Having covered short positions and being aware of the retail interest I would expect a number to be involved.  Calls for the regulator to investigate but it is difficult to see how you stop investors following momentum; leverage is one area of control but as China has seen so many times you can restrict leverage per client but if you have enough clients the risk is still there.
Johnson & Johnson -3.6% after saying its vaccine was 72% effective in the US, 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa after four weeks, the company said. The vaccine however offered complete protection against Covid-related hospitalisations. Mass vaccinations have been an underlying premise for a swift economic recovery since late last year. Now that vaccines are available and being rolled out investors are realising that it is not so simple as covid mutates and mass vaccinations take time.
The Biden administration will review all national security measures rolled out by former US President Donald Trump, including the US-China phase 1 trade deal signed in January 2020, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Banks JPMorgan Chase -1.1%, Citigroup -3.1% and Wells Fargo -3%, AMEX -2.3%
Work from home names: Facebook -2.5%, Apple -3.7%, Amazon -1%, Netflix 1.1%,  Disney -2.2%, Zoom Video -1.7%, Alphabet -1.4% and Microsoft -2.9%,
Tech NXP -2.4%, Nvidia -0.5%, Micron -0.2%, AMD -2.2%, Skyworks +5.9% off initial highs as earning beat.
Re-opening stocks  Boeing -1.5%, Caterpillar -0.8% despite Q4 profit beating, Simon Property -4.7%, Kohl’s -3.6%, Nordstrom -2.6%, Gap -1.8%, United Airlines -6%, Carnival -5.4%, Wynn Resorts -2.5%, Chevron -4.3% despite Q4 loss narrower than a year ago, Exxon Mobil -2.7%,  
Lock down names Campbell Soup -1.3% General Mills -2.1%, JM Smucker -1.6%
DATA
Personal Income Dec +0.6% MoM vs -1.3% Nov revised (F/cast was +0.1%)
Personal Spending Dec -0.2% MoM vs -0.7% Nov revised (F/cast was -0.6%)
Employment Cost Index Q4 +0.7% QoQ vs +0.5% Q3 (F/cast was +0.6%)
PCE Price Index Dec +0.4% MoM vs 0% Nov (F/cast was +0.3%)
PCE Price Index Dec +1.3% YoY vs +1.1% Nov (F/cast was +1.1%)
Core PCE Price Index Dec +0.3% MoM vs 0% Nov (F/cast was +0.2%)
Core PCE Price Index Dec +1.5% YoY vs +1.4% Nov (F/cast was +1.4%)
Employment Cost Wages Q4 +0.9% QoQ vs +0.4% Q3
Employment Cost Benefits Q4 +0.6% QoQ vs +0.6% Q3
Chicago PMI Jan 63.8 vs 58.7 Dec revised (F/cast was 57.8)
Pending Home Sales Dec -0.3% MoM vs -2.5% Nov revised (F/cast was -0.3%)
Pending Home Sales Dec +21.4% YoY vs +16.6% Nov revised (F/cast was +17%)
Michigan Data Final
Current Conditions Jan 86.7 vs 90 Dec (F/cast was 87.7)
Consumer Expectations Jan 74 vs 74.6 Dec (F/cast was 73.8)
Five year Inflation Expectations Jan +2.7% vs +2.5% Dec (F/cast was +2.7%)
Consumer Sentiment Jan 79 vs 80.7 Dec (F/cast was 79.2)
Inflation Expectations Jan +3% vs +2.5% Dec (F/cast was +3%)
Baker Hughes Total Rig Count 384 vs 378 prior
Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 295 vs 289 prior
USD was slightly stronger vs Yen & Euro. Bitcoin -3.3% @ 33,555, VIX +9.5% @ 33.09, US T10 @ 1.071%
OIL Brent +0.63%, WTI -0.27% concerns about covid hitting demand as vaccine numbers fail to give confidence in the short term recovery.
Gold +0.43%, Silver +4.4%, Copper -1.1%. Gold seeing support as equities sell off.
AHEAD Manufacturing PMI, ISM Manufacturing Data (New Order, Prices, Employment, PMI) Construction Spending. Senior Loan Officers Survey.
Earnings : Cirrus Logic, Rambus, ON Semiconductor, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Otis Worldwide, Thermo Fisher, Nintendo, NXP Semiconductor, Warner Music, Cabot

DAX -1.7%, CAC -2%, FTSE -1.8%  Markets traded sideways having opened lower.  Investors concerns over the speculative trading in the US as several ebokers took steps to restrict buying in highly speculative names.   Data was mixed
AstraZeneca was approved for emergency use But the European Commission also placed temporary controls on the export of coronavirus vaccines made inside the bloc, following a spat with AstraZeneca and wider supply issues.Daimler +0.9% beat 2020 full-year profit expectations on Thursday on the back of a strong fourth quarter earnings.
Commerzbank -4.8% as new CEO Manfred Knof plans to cut a further 10,000 jobs and close hundreds of branches.
Ericsson +7.6% to the top of the Stoxx 600 after Q4 profit beat expectations.
Varta -18.8% and Evotec -12.3% both stocks had been boosted in previous sessions by the unwinding of large short positions by the Wall Street hedge funds under attack by retail traders.
The UK will formally apply to join a huge free trade pact including Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, under the government's post-Brexit plans.
DATA
EUROZONE 
Loans to Households Dec +3.1% YoY vs +3.1% Nov (F/cast was +3.2%)
Loans to Companies Dec +7YoY vs +6.9% Nov (F/cast was 7%)
M3 Money Supply Dec +12.3YoY vs +11% Nov (F/cast was +11.2%)
GERMANY 
Unemployment Rate Jan 6% vs 6% Dec Revised (F/cast was 6.1%)
Unemployment Change Jan -41k vs -40k Dec revised (F/cast was +5k)
Import Prices Dec +0.6% MoM vs +0.5% Nov (F/cast was +0.3%)
Import Prices Dec -3.4% YoY vs -3.8% Nov (F/cast was -3.7%)
GDP Growth Rate Flash Q4 +0.1% QoQ vs +8.5% Q3 (F/cast was 0)
GDP Growth Rate Flash Q4 -3.9% YoY vs -4% Q3 (F/cast was -4%)
FRANCE 
GDP Growth Rate Q4 -1.3% QoQ vs +18.5 Q3 revised (F/cast was -3.2%)
Household Consumption Dec +23% vs -18% Nov revised (F/cast was +14.5%)
PPI Dec +0.8% MoM vs +1.7% Nov (F/cast was +0.4%)
AHEAD
EUROZONE Unemployment Rate
GERMANY Retail Sales, Manufacturing PMI
FRANCE Manufacturing PMI, New Car Registrations
UK  Manufacturing PMI, Consumer Credit, Mortgage Approvals, Net Lending to individuals

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