Feb 2 Asian Macro Initial Thoughts Asian Futures indicate a cautiously higher open

02 Feb

Asian Futures Nikkei Futures opened flat but now +17pts,  HK ADR’s +36pts and Australia higher in early trades.   S Korean inflation data higher than expected.Expect markets to trade cautiously higher
US Futures opened flat Dow +18pts, S&P and NDX flat

Governments calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi after a coup in Myanmar

DOW +0.76%, NDX +2.55%, S&P +1.61%, Russel 2K +2.53% Markets opened higher in line with the rebound in the US futures through the Asian time but markets sold down initially.  Dow then traded sideways, S&P and NDX worked higher.  Gamestop was -34% before trading was halted; cold signal a more cautious approach from retail day traders.  But Silver stocks are the new Gamestop as Reddit chat room focused on the potential silver squeeze.  Shows the power of chat rooms and traders will be no doubt putting them on the radar screen. Robinhood raised another $2.4bn to be ablate deal with the retail demand.
Republicans are pushing Biden to scale down his stimulus package as Pelosi said the chamber will move to pass a budget resolution, the first step toward approving legislation through reconciliation.
Banks JPMorgan Chase +0.7%, Citigroup +0.8%, Wells Fargo +0.4%, Amex +0.6%
Work from home names: Facebook +1.4%, Apple +1.7%, Amazon +4.3%, Netflix +1.3%,  Disney +1.7%, Zoom Video +2.7%, Alphabet +3.6% and Microsoft +3.3%,
Tech NXP +6.9% reported after hours, Nvidia +1.9%, Micron +2.8%, AMD +2.4%, Skyworks +9.8%
Re-opening stocks  Boeing +0.9%, Caterpillar +1%, Simon Property unch, Kohl’s -2.1%, Nordstrom +1%, Gap -0.5%, United Airlines -0.1%, Carnival +0.6%, Wynn Resorts +2.2%, Chevron +1.4%, Exxon Mobil +0.2%,  
Lock down names Campbell Soup -0.2% General Mills -1%, JM Smucker -0.9%
Virgin Galactic +7% in extended trading, (+21.5% normal market hours) after announcing that it could redo a spaceflight test as early as Feb. 13.
GameStop -9% in after hours (-30% in normal hours)
Cirrus Logic -6.5%after hours despite better-then-expected Q3 results and forward revenue guidance was roughly in line.
NXP Semiconductors -1.5% after hours despite reporting better than expected Q4 revenue; forward guidance was also higher than expected.
Manufacturing PMI Jan 59.2 vs 57.1Dec (F/cast was 59.1)
ISM Manufacturing Data
New Orders Jan 61.1 vs 67.5 Dec revised (F/cast was 67)
Prices Jan 82.1 vs 77.6 Dec (F/cast was 73)
Employment Jan 52.6 vs 51.7 Dec revised (F/cast was 51)
PMI Jan 58.7 vs 60.5 Dec revised (F/cast was 60)
Construction Spending Dec +1% MoM vs +1.1% Nov (F/cast was 0.6%)
Senior Loan Officers Survey.
USD was slightly weaker vs Yen & Euro. Bitcoin unch @ 33,687.14, VIX -8.6% @ 30.2, US T10 @ 1.079%
OIL Brent +2.34%, WTI +2.57% as supply cuts take effect
Gold +0.73%, Silver +8.7% as Reddit traders focus on the metal, Copper -0.13%
Redbook, ISM New York Index, IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism, API Crude Oil Stock Change
Earnings: Alphabet, Amazon, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, UPS, BP, Amgen, Electronic Arts, FireEye, Chipotle, Viavi Solutions, PerkinElmer, ConocoPhillips, Sirius XM, Harley-Davidson, Alibaba, McKesson, Eaton, Marathon Petroleum

DAX +1.4%, CAC +1.16%, FTSE +0.9%  Markets opened higher following the lead from Asia and and rose through the morning before trading sideways in the PM.  Covid and vaccine roll outs still in focus along with talk of the biggest short squeeze in 25 years.   Basic Resources leading along with Tech but Petrochems seeing weakness.
PMI data showed a decline MoM as covid lockdowns impacted but were better than forecast. German retail sales missed badly -VE for sentiment; it would appear consumers are less convinced about the recovery.
Fresnillo +9% as the Reddit-fueled frenzy for highly-shorted stocks spilled into silver, sending futures surging.
Klepierre -7.5% after announcing that 70% of its malls had been affected by coronavirus restrictions across Europe.Julius Baer sank despite reporting a 50 per cent rise in 2020 net profits, boosting dividends and announcing a new share buy-back programme.
Manufacturing PMI Jan 54.8 vs 55.2 Dec (F/cast was 54.7)Unemployment Rate Dec +8.3% vs 8.3% Nov (F/cast was 8.3%)
Retail Sales Dec -9.6% MoM vs +1.1% Nov revised (F/cast was -1.2%)
Retail Sales Dec +1.5% YoY vs 5% Nov revised (F/cast was +4.7%)
Manufacturing PMI Jan 57.1 vs 58.3 Dec (F/cast was 57)
Manufacturing PMI Jan 51.6 vs 51.1 Dec (F/cast was 51.5)
New Car Registrations Jan -5.8% vs -11.8% Dec (F/cast was -16%)
Manufacturing PMI Jan 54.1 vs 57.5 Dec (F/cast was 52.9)
Consumer Credit Dec GBP -0.965b vs -1.467b Nov (F/cast was -1.2b)
Mortgage Approvals Dec 103k vs 105k Nov (F/cast was 105k)
Net Lending to individuals Dec GBP 3.6b MoM vs 4.3b Nov (F/cast was 3.7b)
GERMANY No data due
FRANCE Inflation Rate
UK Nationwide Housing Prices

Nikkei futures opened flat but rose to +17pts. Yen eased currently 104.94. Expect further upside in cautious trading with Tech in focus.
No data due 
Japan is expected to extend a state of emergency on Tuesday to fight the spread of COVID-19 for Tokyo and other areas, three sources with knowledge of the legal procedures said on Monday.  Extension expected to be until March 7.
Tokyo logged 393 new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus on Monday, marking the first time the figure has dropped below 400 since Dec. 21, the Tokyo metropolitan government said. +VE for sentiment Japan's lower house on Monday passed bills to introduce fines for people and businesses failing to comply with the country's measures for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.  But does not go as far as imprisionment.
Nintendo raises outlook after surpassing high expectations. Company reported operating profit of ¥229.7 billion, far above the ¥189.6 billion average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Nintendo now expects full-year Switch sales of 26.5 million units, having already surpassed its previous projection of 24 million. The company also boosted its forecast for operating profit by 24% on the back of a surge in sales brought on by the coronavirus outbreak and hit game Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
JAL outlook -VE now forecasts a net loss of Yen300bn for the year ending March 31
Kirin Holdings likely to see pressure after coup in Myanmar where it has assets with links to the military. -VE
NEC +12.8% Monday, as the network services company reported a 5.7% rise in its operating profit for the first nine months of its fiscal year,
Toto, rose 12.4% Monday upon lifting its profit outlook.

Expect markets to open higher following the rebound on Wall Street but with gains yesterday the upside may be limited.  Pre market dat showed inflation rising 
Data out 
Inflation Rate Jan +0.6% YoY vs +0.5% Dec (F/cast was +0.2%)
Inflation Rate Jan +0.8% MoM vs +0.2% Dec (F/cast was +0.2%)
Samsung Electronics Press reporting  people are speculation on what companies would be on the shopping list after the tech giant’s announcement last week captured the attention among industry officials and market watchers. Dominant speculation suggests that Samsung is likely to be looking for a company that is related to the automotive chip business, or one that is correlated with the foundry. NXP, Xilinx and Infineon have been mentioned along with Texas-based TI and Japan’s Renesas also mentioned as possible targets.
Posco International aims to take 20% of the world market for automotive motor cores, kicking off its auto parts business in earnest this year, the company said Monday.
AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccine had 62% efficacy against some 8,900 clinical candidates aged 42.2 on average, according to Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Monday.
Nexon said new and existing employees have been given a generous pay boost as part of a drive to attract talent amid the coronavirus outbreak, the company said Monday. “To leap forward to the world’s top tier company, we decided to strengthen our human resources management through a structural pay raise instead of one-off incentives,” Nexon Korea CEO Lee Jung-hun said.
Carmakers' sales rose 4.8 percent last month from a year earlier helped by strong demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, industry data showed Monday.  The five carmakers; Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co; sold a combined 597,213 vehicles in January, up from 569,929 units a year ago, according to data from the companies.  But Renault Samsung Motors said it s sales were -1.3% YoY due to weak domestic demand. Whilst GM Korea said its sales +76.4% YoY on solid overseas sales. SsangYoun was +13% on SUV sales,
LG Energy Solution has the most patents for electric vehicle batteries that are officially registered with the patent offices of five major countries, amounting to 23,610 industry data showed Monday. Followed by Samsung SDI with 20,206, Panasonic of Japan with 17,200, China’s CATL with 2,221 and SK Innovation with 1,781.

Expect market to open higher with Tech continuing to lead the market.No data due Taiwan’s PMI last month climbed to a new high of 65.1, but soaring shipping and raw material prices threaten to erode corporate profitability, the Chunghua Institution for Economic Research. Slight -VE
Taiwan Lawmakers want to remove mainland unity from constitution and change the country’s flag and anthem as being to closely associated with China.
The number of digital savings accounts opened at the nation’s banks rose 12.4% quarterly to 6.46 million as of the end of last year, as lenders offered higher interest rates to compete against Web-only banks, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) data showed yesterday.  Among the 35 banks that allow clients to open digital savings accounts, Taishin International Bank  remained in first place with 2.36 million accounts, up 5.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, while Cathay United Bank retained the number two spot with 966,000, up 15.68 percent quarterly, the data showed.
China Airlines Ltd  yesterday announced the launch of a special cold chain logistics service to transport goods that need to be stored at minus-80°C in a bid to secure orders to ship COVID-19 vaccines.  The service uses using passive temperature-controlled containers, the airline said.  The airline has not received an assignment from the government, but the launch of the new service is expected to help the airline gain orders to transports vaccines to other countries, it said. +VE
China Steel raises prices by 2.5 percent on average from next month as rising raw material and shipping costs, as well as robust performance by downstream industries, contributed to the hike +VE
Global semiconductor sales rose 6.5% last year as a recovery in the last three months of the year helped offset a sharp drop off in March and April; according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Sales from US chipmakers were about US$208 billion, or about 47% of the total, but only about 12% of chip manufacturing capacity last year.

Expect market to open higher but caution remains over US relations and PBoC policy
No data due
A WHO official in Geneva said that the team in China had held “very good discussions” with their Chinese counterparts.  The visiting team was not able to speak to journalists following them in Wuhan.  Questions are being raised about China’s openness as members of the team have been limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts and have no contact with community members, because of health curbs.
President Xi says Intellectual Property protection is key to China’s development and part of the core growth strategy.
FT Reports China’s fledgling funds stoke fears of bubble. Retail traders flock to new products that lack established performances and portfolios.  Looks at the UBS forecasts for fund growth.

ADR’s +36pts to open at 28,928; with Ecommerce names back in focus although Chinese Financials remain weak.
Data due After market
Retail Sales for Dec (Nov was -4.7% and the F/cast is -7%)

SHORT SELLING Monday +17.8% vs 19.2% Friday
Top Shorts: Ping An (2318) 50%, Bud Apac (1876) 27%, Country Garden (2007) 44%, Galaxy Ent (27) 44%, Hengan (1044) 44%,  Hang Seng Bank (11) 38%, MTRC (66) 35%,  ICBC (1398) 32%,  Bank of China (3988) 27%, HSBC (5) 26%, CCB (939) 25%.
Govt announced four more surprise lockdowns targeting buildings in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yuen Long, Hung Hom and Yau Ma Tei; as Govt announced new measures.  Buildings with only one untraceable Covid-19 case will be subjected to mandatory tests.
Nearly half of Hongkongers are adopting a wait-and-see attitude toward the mass Covid-19 vaccination program to be launched soon. According to a survey by the Chinese University's Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
Midland Confidence Index (MCI) last posted at 58.3, down about 2.8% weekly, snapping the four-week upswing. Buggle Lau, Chief Analyst of Midland Realty, elaborated that the receding MCI indicated there was increasing number of price-dropped properties.  Midland Property Price Index last stood at 162.54, up 0.24% weekly, rebounding after three-week decline.  It also reported recording 1,450 primary market transactions, up by 150% MoM and also said secondary market transactions at 10 blue-chip housing estates rose by 20%
Hong Kong Ferry (0050) and Empire Group received 2,947 checks for 225 units in the first three price lists of Skypoint Royale in Tuen Mun, about 12 times oversubscribed..
The Department of Justice applied to revoke its appeal against NEXT DIGITAL (00282.HK)  Founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's bail. The Court of Final Appeal, after hearing the remarks made by both defendant and plaintiff today (1 February), adjourned the judgement. Lai remained remanded.Kuaishou Technology Institutional investors are buying its Hong Kong shares before its Friday debut at a 117% premium to the listing price, underscoring the high level of demand for the world's biggest internet initial public offering in two years.
AIA (01299.HK) and Henry Cheng-backed CHINA STRATEGIC (00235.HK) are vying for the life insurance assets of BANK OF E ASIA (00023.HK) in the final round, Bloomberg cited sources. The two suitors have submitted their binding tenders for the related assets and entered the final stage of negotiation.  BANK OF E ASIA is expected to raise US$500-600 million through the deal and see outcome as soon as this month.   Yet, people with the knowledge of the matter said there are other competitors in the scene and the negotiation may eventually be postponed or blown up.
AAC TECH (02018.HK) announced in relation to the proposed spin-off and listing of AAC Optics in the PRC. The sponsor of the Separate Listing of AAC Optics submitted an application to the Jiangsu Province Regulatory Bureau of the CSRC for the commencement of the pre-listing tutoring process, which is subject to the acknowledgement of receipt of such application from the Jiangsu Province Regulatory Bureau of the CSRC.
The US Government plans to set up a new fund in July together with other members in The Five Eyes - Japan, UK, Australia and New Zealand - to unfold cooperation in the development and supply of 5G and semiconductors in face of China's rivalry, such as Huawei.

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