Feb 14 Things to know before trading Asia on Monday

14 Feb

Japan and S Korea open.  Taiwan, China and Hong Kong closed.  
US markets closed Monday for President Day holiday.
Earnings continue this week; including CVS Health, Hilton, Walmart and Deere. Data wise for the US Fed minutes on Wednesday and Housing data will be closely watched, we also get PPI and Retail Sales. Expect the debate over inflation to continue. The passage of the stimulus package will also be watched.

WHO Chinese scientists refused to share raw data that might bring the world closer to understanding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, independent investigators for the World Health Organization said Friday.  The investigators, who recently returned from a fact-finding trip to the Chinese city of Wuhan, said disagreements over patient records and other issues were so tense that they sometimes erupted into shouts among the typically mild-mannered scientists on both sides.  The White House on Saturday called on China to make available data from the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying it has “deep concerns” about the way the findings of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 report were communicated.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Friday warned that COVID-19 could last indefinitely even as global infections slowed by nearly half in the past month and vaccine rollouts gathered pace in parts of the world.

Senate votes to acquit Trump.  McConnell who voted to acquit then said the firmer president was clearly to blame for the riot.  The hypocrisy of politics.  57 out of 100 voted that Trump was guilty, which was short of the 67 required to convict.

DOW +0.09%, NDX +0.5%, S&P +0.47%, Russel 2K +0.18% Markets opened lower and spent most of the day trading around flat picking up slightly into the close.  Disney opened higher but saw heavy selling on the good results and then traded sideways.President Biden announced having secured a further 200m vaccine doses
Democrats advanced the portion of their coronavirus relief bill that includes $1,400 direct payments, an extension of unemployment programs and payments to families with children. Several committees have now advanced parts of the proposal, which the House hopes to combine into one bill and pass before the end of the month.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stressed the need for the G7 countries to “go big” with fiscal stimulus to support economic recovery from the global pandemic. In her first call with foreign counterparts and central bankers from the G7, Yellen said that “the time to go big is now” and that the group should focus on how to help the economy, the US Treasury Department said in a statement after the virtual meeting held on Friday.
Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc trimmed compensation for their chief executive officers last year, a year in which banks exercised restraint in compensating employees as the pandemic ravaged the economy.
Banks JPMorgan Chase +1.4%, Citigroup +0.7%, Wells Fargo +2.4%, Amex +1%
Work from home names: Facebook +0.04%, Apple +0.2%, Amazon +0.5%, Netflix -0.2%,  Disney -1.7%, Zoom Video +0.1%, Alphabet +0.3% and Microsoft +0.2%,
Tech NXP Semi +0.2%, Nvidia -1.9% as US Fed Trade Comm launches in-depth review of purchase of Arm. Micron +1.8%, AMD +1.2%, Skyworks +0.7%
Re-opening stocks  Boeing +0.2%, Caterpillar -0.2%, Simon Property unch, Kohl’s +0.9%, Nordstrom +1%, Gap -0.8%, United Airlines +1.1%, Carnival -0.6%, Wynn Resorts +2.9%, Chevron +0.6%, Exxon Mobil +1.3%,  
Lock down names Campbell Soup -0.5% General Mills +0.4%, JM Smucker +1%
Michigan Prelim Data
Current Conditions Feb 86.2 vs 86.7 Jan (F/cast was 88)
Inflation Expectations Feb 3.3% vs 3% Jan (F/cast was 3%)
Consumer Sentiment Feb 76.2 vs 79 Jan (F/cast was 81)
5 yr Inflation Expectations Feb 2.7% vs 2.7% Jan (F/cast was 2.7%)
Consumer Expectations Feb 69.8 vs 74 Jan (F/cast was 77)
Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 306 vs 299 prior
Baker Hughes Total Rig Count 397 v 392 prior
USD was slightly stronger vs Yen & Euro. Bitcoin -1.3% @ 46,860.80, VIX -6% @ 19.97, US T10 @ 1.21%
OIL Brent +2.1%, WTI +2.1% on stimulus hopes and despite a weaker outlook from OPEC and the IEA
Gold -0.11%, Silver +1.5%, Copper +0.7% Palladium +1.7% (up 10% over the week)
AHEAD  No Data due

DAX -0.06%, CAC +0.6%, FTSE +0.94%  initially sold down as data shoed the UK economy contracted by 9.9% in 2020 (vs -8% F/cast) but then worked better through the day.  Media and Tech led the gains.
Earnings in focus: GN Store Nord +7.1% and ING Groep +6.7% after strong fourth-quarter earnings. ProSiebenSat.1 +6.4%.
Verbund -9% and EDP Renovaveis -7.5%.
Draghi sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister.
Balance of Trade Dec GBP -6.2b vs -6.6b Nov (F/cast was -4.1b)
Construction Output Dec -3.9% YoY vs -1.4% Nov (F/cast was -0.6%)
Construction Orders Dec -12.9% vs +0.6% Nov (F/cast was +4.5%)
GDP Dec +1.2% MoM vs -2.3% Nov revised (F/cast was +1.1%)
GDP Growth Rate Prel Q4 +1% QoQ  vs +16.1% Q3 revised (F/cast was +0.5%)
GDP Growth Rate Prel Q4 -7.8% YoY  vs -8.7% Q3 revised (F/cast was -8%)
GDP 3 Month Average Dec +1% vs +4.5% Nov revised (F/cast was +0.5%)
Industrial Production Dec +0.2% MoM vs -0.1% Nov (F/cast was +0.6%)
Industrial Production Dec -3.3% YoY vs -4.7% Nov (F/cast was -4.2%)
Manufacturing Production  Dec -2.5% YoY vs -3.8% Nov (F/cast was -3%)
Manufacturing Production  Dec +0.3% MoM vs +0.7% Nov (F/cast was +0.4%)
Business Investment Prel Q4 +1.3% QoQ vs +9.4% Q3 (F/cast was +2.6%)
Business Investment Prel Q4 -10.3% YoY  vs -19.2% Q3 (F/cast was -12%)
Goods Trade Balance GBP Dec -14.315b vs -16.012b (F/cast was -14.3b)
NIESR Monthly GDP Tracker Jan -2.5% vs +1% Dec revised from +0.9% (F/cast was -2.8%).
EUROZONE Balance of Trade, Industrial Production,
GERMANY No data due
FRANCE No data due
UK No data due

Expect Nikkei to open flat following the US on Friday.  Yen closed 104.93
Investors will focus on earnings and likely to remain rangebound with 30,000 a psychological resistance.
Japan a 7.1 earthquake hit Fukushima Saturday night injuring many and causing damage but no tsunami warning 
Data due pre market
GDP Data
Growth Rate Q3 was 5.3% F/cast is +2.2%
Growth Annualised Q3 was 22.9% F/cast is 9%
Capital Expenditure Q3 was -2.4% F/cast is 2.5%
Extrernal Demand Q3 was +2.7% F/cast is +1.2%
Private Consumption Q3 was +5.1% F/cast is +1.5%
Price Index Q3 was +1.2%
Later Industrial Production and Capacity Utilisation
Tokyo reported 369 covid cases on Saturday below 500 for a week but up 62 from Friday.
A Japanese health panel on Friday night recommended approval of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine - the first in the country - as Japan tries to tame a third wave of infections in the run-up to the Summer Olympics.
Japan's currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in January, data showed this week, a sign companies and households continued to hoard cash due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.
Aeon Co. has plans to rent out spaces in a number of its 290 commercial facilities nationwide to local governments for use as coronavirus vaccination sites. An agreement for the multipurpose hall of the Aeon Mall Zama shopping center in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture has already been reached, and the company has opened negotiations with several local governments. +VE
Regional Banks More than half of 78 listed Japanese regional banking groups and banks saw a decline in their net profits or incurred red ink in the April-December period, hit by the coronavirus pandemic, an analysis of their earnings reports showed Saturday. Mentioned Fukuoka Financial Group, Jimoto Holdings as seeing profits decrease but Tsukuba Bank and Fukui Bank saw an increase in their net profits, while Michinoku Bank and Shimane Bank swung back in the black.
Mitsubishi Materials Corp said on Friday it had completed its purchase of a 30% stake in Chile’s Mantoverde copper mine from Mantos Copper for $275 million, as the shift to a low carbon economy boosts demand for the metal.
Seiko Hashimoto, minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, appeared to be a promising candidate for the new president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Market reopens likely to open flat with little to drive the market higher.No data dueKDCA announced 326 Sunday 362 new covid cases Saturday (vs 362 Saturday and 403 Friday) but noted fewer tests being carried out over the lunar new year weekend.  But are still warning they might surge after the weekend.The government decided Saturday to lower social distancing levels by one notch each for the greater Seoul area and the other regions next week, but kept tight vigilance to curb COVID-19 by retaining a ban on gatherings of five people or more.
South Korea and the United States are preparing to hold their annual springtime combined military exercise next month, sources said Sunday.  Likely to annoy N Korea.
South Korea's steel production fell below 70 million metric tons for the first time in four years in 2020 as demand from carmakers, shipbuilders and construction firms plunged amid the COVID-19 pandemic, industry data showed Sunday. -VE
Coupang Inc, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, on Friday filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, hoping to cash in on strong demand for high-growth tech stocks as it reported a near-doubling of annual revenue and narrowing losses.
SK Group has the largest number of affiliated companies, data showed Sunday; it had 144 affiliates as of Jan. 31, the most among 64 conglomerates subject to tighter curbs, such as limited inter-affiliate trading. Kakao Corp came next in line with a total of 105 affiliates, including 99 non-financials and six financials.
Korean Air Lines has joined other airlines to offer "flights to nowhere" as a way to ride out the coronavirus crisis, the transport ministry said Sunday. +VE
Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Corp. aim for a 13% increase in US sales this year by selling more SUV and high-end models. Hyundai and Kia are targeting to sell a combined 1,360,000 vehicles in the US market in 2021, up from 1,208,374 units they sold a year earlier, the companies said. +VE
Brokers earnings soared to a record-high last year amid a stock rush, chasing closely after those of first-tier banks. The combined operating profit of the top 20 brokerages by capital base stood at 7.85 trillion won ($7.09 billion) in 2020, soaring 36.7 percent from the previous year, according to the Financial Supervisory Service's regulatory filing.  The annual operating income of Mirae Asset Daewoo surpassed the 1 trillion won-mark for the first time, closely followed by Kiwoom Securities Co.'s 954.9 billion won.Only two of the 20 firms, Hanwha Investment & Securities and Korea Investment & Securities suffered operating losses last year.

Market closed re-opens Wednesday February 17
No data due 
Taiwan expressed its thanks to US President Joe Biden after he raised concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping about China’s increased pressuring of Taiwan, Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang said.

Market closed re-opens Thursday February 18
No data due
Beijing was once again shrouded in smog on Saturday after several days of heavy pollution which have plagued China’s capital during the Lunar New Year national holiday.
China’s GDP ‘paradox’: SCMP reports looks at why young Chinese despair about future prospects despite rapid economic growth.  Young Chinese are using social media platforms like Bilibili to voice despair over rising house prices, widening inequality and the price of everyday goods. The growing frustration about social mobility highlights a ‘serious divergence’ between China’s fast-growing economy and the life satisfaction of citizens
US condemns China over BBC World News ban.  State Department says Beijing maintains an oppressive media environment while using open systems elsewhere to push misinformation.  Said China should allow the public full access to the internet and media.  British foreign secretary said the decision will damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.
China’s Lunar New Year TV extravaganza hit again by ‘blackface’ scandal.  Criticism over the 2021 Spring Festival Gala follows a similar controversy in 2018 after a Chinese actress in blackface make-up wore costume with huge fake buttocks.  But the opening performance was criticised both within China and from outside the country. International audiences condemned the blackface incident while Chinese people said they could not understand why dances from other countries should be included in the programme, a celebration of the country’s most important holiday.
German state pulls plug on China’s CGTN channel after Britain revokes broadcasting licence.  It was being distributed in Germany under licensing agreement with British regulator.  Vodafone Germany says it has stopped airing China Global Television Network and trying to clarify its legal status.
Beijing's mission in Brussels says the European Union should not make ‘irresponsible comments’ on Hong Kong affairs following BBC World News ban.  The EU earlier pointed to RTHK’s ban on BBC broadcasts as evidence of increasing ‘erosion of the rights and freedoms’ in Hong Kong after imposition of security law

Market closed reopens Tuesday February 16
ADR’s +107pts on Friday in US
No data due
HK reported 12 new covid cases
on Saturday (vs 24 Friday)
SHORT SELLING Thursday 23.6% vs 16.2% Wednesday 
Top Shorts:   Hengan (1044) 39%, China Res Land (1109) 39%, AAC Tech (2018) 38%, Bank of China (3988) 38%, SHKP (16) 38%, BABA-SW (9988) 38%, Shenzhou (2313) 37%, Country Garden (2007) 33%, Hang Seng Bank (11) 32%, Hang Lung Ppty  (101) 32%, AIA (1299) 32%, BankComm (3328) 32%, Bud Apac (1876) 32%, Anta (2020) 31%, CCB (939) 31%, Ping An (2318) 29%, Meituan (3690) 28%, Sino Biopharm (1177) 28%, CITIC (267) 27%, Sunny Optical (2382) 27%, Galaxy Ent (27) 27%,  CLP (2) 25%, Henderson Land (12) 25%, HSBC (5) 25%.
RTHK’s decision to axe BBC services citing Beijing’s ban on the BBC as the reason for its decision sets a worrying precedent.  It raises more questions about Hong Kong’s relationship with Beijing and concerns that other international news sources may be restricted. -VE

* The email will not be published on the website.