Apr 2 Asian Macro Initial Thoughts Expect markets to move higher (HK, SGX, ASX , Phils, Indo closed

02 Apr

Australia Markets closed re-open Tuesday
Japan Nikkei Futures opened -15pts rose to +33pts but back down now; expect markets to work higher with light volume.
S Korea Expect markets to open higher following the rebound in the US and easing of US inflation fears and building on Thursday’s gains when the Kospi hit a 2 month high.  Pre market inflation data, slightly stronger than expected.
Taiwan Expect market to open higher following the US with a focus on Tech
China Expect market to open pen higher following the US rebound but likely to see caution into the close ahead of the long weekend and the releases of US payrolls data.
HK Market closed re-opens on Wednesday  ADR’s closed in US +117pts at 28,496
Europe  France open Germany and UK closed
US Markets closed re-open Monday but Payrolls data to be released.

Markets closed Friday in Asia: HK, Singapore, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia,

Officials from Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain will meet virtually on Friday to discuss a possible return of the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal, the European Union said in a statement on Thursday.

DOW +0.52%, NDX +1.76%, S&P +1.18% to 4,019, Russel 2K +1.5%
Markets opened higher on good PMI and ISM data and despite missing forecasts initial claims continued to improve. Markets then worked better through the day with a generally +VE take on Biden’s Infrastructure stimulus plan, although some are worried about higher taxes. Tech rebounded confounding expectations of a sell-off as funds re-weighted their portfolio’s, it would appear bonds are not being bought at the expense of equities.
Micron Tech +4.8% and Western Digital +6.9% on talk they are said to be exploring a deal to buy Japanese semiconductor firm Kioxia for about $30 bn reported the WSJ.
United Airlines said Thursday it plans to hire about 300 pilots, another sign that airlines feel more confident that a recent increase in travel will continue. The airline plans to start by hiring pilots who received conditional job offers or had a class for new hires canceled last year, when the industry was slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Banks JPMorgan Chase +0.9%, Citigroup +0.5%, Wells Fargo +1.5%, Amex +2.2%, Morgan Stanley +0.7%, Goldman Sachs +0.2%
Work from home names: Facebook +1.4%, Apple +0.7%, Amazon +2.2%, Netflix +3.4%,  Disney +2.5%, Zoom Video +1.5%, Alphabet +3.3% and Microsoft +2.8% wins contract to supply US Army 120,000 + devices based on its HoloLens augmented reality headset.
Tech NXP Semi +3.4%, Nvidia +3.5%, Micron +4.8%, AMD +3.3%, Skyworks +2.3%
Re-opening stocks  Boeing -0.6%, Caterpillar +0.3%, Simon Property +1.3% on late rally, Kohl’s -2.2%, Nordstrom -3%, Gap +0.6%, United Airlines +0.5%, Carnival +1.2%, Wynn Resorts +2.2%, Chevron +0.9%, Exxon Mobil +2.8%,  
Lock down names Campbell Soup -0.6% General Mills +0.7%, JM Smucker -0.2%
Challenger Job Cuts Mar 30.603k vs 34.531k Feb (F/cast was 30k)
Initial Claims 719k vs 658k prior (F/cast was 650k)
4 Week Average Claims 719k vs 729.5k prior (F/cast was 710k)
Continuing Claims 3.794m vs 3.84m prior(F/cast was 3.68m)
Manufacturing PMI Mar 59.1 vs 58.6 Feb (F/cast was 59)
Construction Spending Feb -0.8% MoM vs +1.2% Jan revised (F/cast was -0.6%)
ISM Manufacturing Data
PMI Mar 64.7 vs 60.8 Feb (F/cast was 61.2)
New Orders Mar 68 vs 64.8 Feb (F/cast was 64)
Prices Mar 85.6 vs 86 Feb (F/cast was 84)
Employment Mar 59.6 vs 54.4 Feb (F/cast was 56)
EIA Natural Gas Stocks 14Bcf vs-11Bcf revised (Consensus was 21Bcf)
Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 337 vs 324 prior
Baker Hughes Total Rig Count 430 vs 417 prior
USD was weaker vs Yen & Euro. Bitcoin -0.6% @ 58,776, VIX -11% @ 17.33, US T10 1.679%
OIL Brent +3%, WTI +3.5% as OPEC+ to gradually curb output cuts as demand concerns remain.
Gold +1.2%, Silver +0.9%, Copper +0.45% Platinum +1% Palladium +1.1%. Gold rallied as USD and yields dropped but in after market Gold eased but others were stronger
AHEAD Markets closed
Data Non Farm Payrolls, Unemployment, Average Hourly Earnings, Average Weekly Hours, Participation Rate, ISM New York Index.

DAX +0.66%, CAC +0.59%, FTSE +0.35% 
Markets opened lower but rallied slightly on good PMI data, although German Retail Sales missed. FTSE then traded sideways, DAX and CAC dipped into lunch as US initial claims disappointed but then worked better as S&P rallied and closed at day highs. Tech led the gainers and most sectors closed higher.
Prosus 5.3% after raising its stake in German food delivery firm Delivery Hero.
Deliveroo -2% in its second day of trading having been -26% on its debut.
Atos -12.4% after an audit found accounting errors at two of its US units.
A Volkswagen joint venture in China has agreed to buy green car credits from Tesla to help meet local environmental rules, three people briefed on the matter told Reuters.
Manufacturing PMI Mar 62.5 vs 57.9 Feb (F/cast was 62.4)
Retail Sales Feb +1.2% MoM vs -6.5% Jan revised (F/cast was +2.4%)
Retail Sales Feb +1.2% MoM vs -6.5% Jan revised (F/cast was +2.4%)
Manufacturing PMI Mar 66.6 vs 60.7 Feb (F/cast was 66.6)
Manufacturing PMI Mar 59.3 vs 56.1 Feb (F/cast was 58.8)
New Car Registrations Mar 191.4% vs -20.9% Feb (F/cast was -6.3%)
Manufacturing PMI Mar 58.9 vs 55.1 Feb (F/cast was 57.9)
Germany closed Friday and Monday
France open Friday Budget Balance, closed Monday
UK closed Friday and Monday

Nikkei futures opened -15pts rose to +33pts but back down now; expect markets to work higher with light volume.Yen currently 110.57
No Data due Market will be open Monday
Tokyo reported 475 new covid cases (up 61 from Thursday) Nationwide total was 2,412, Osaka was highest 616 cases and announced new emergency measures, and  cancelled the olympic torch relay leg.  Hyogo and Miyagi also announced new emergency measures
Denuclearization will remain at the center of U.S. policy toward North Korea and any approach to Pyongyang will have to be done in "lockstep" with close allies, including Japan and South Korea, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday
Micron Technology and Western Digital Corp are individually exploring a potential deal for Kioxia Holdings Corp that could value the Japanese semiconductor firm at around $30 billion, the company currently controlled by private-equity firm Bain Capital.  Kioxia is the world’s second-largest maker of flash memory chips and last year shelved plans for what would have been Japan’s largest initial public offering in 2020.  An IPO install possible.
Mizuho Financial Group Inc may face a loss of 10 billion yen ($90 million) from deals with Archegos Capital Management, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday. -VE
Many new recruits at public offices, companies and other organizations in Japan started work Thursday, with events marking their first day at work largely switched online amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last year many entrance ceremonies marking the start of the new business year were canceled due to the spread of the new coronavirus. Many employers resumed the seasonal event this year, but avoided large-scale gatherings by downscaling them or adopting virtual participation.

Expect markets to open higher following the rebound in the US and easing of US inflation fears and building on Thursday’s gains when the Kospi hit a 2 month high.  Pre market inflation data, slightly stronger than expected.
Market will be open Monday
Data out 
Inflation Rate Mar +1.5% YoY vs +1.1% Feb (F/cast was +1.4% )
Inflation Rate Mar +0.1% MoM vs +0.5% Feb (F/cast was -0.1%)
KDCA reported 551new covid cases the highest in 41 days; the third wave shot little signs slowing. Ahead of the Easter weekend and by-elections next week, health authorities have urged people to comply with distancing rules.
KDCA Commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong got her first dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Thursday morning.
Voting in mayoral elections takes place today; hit by property scandals and economic failures, South Korea’s liberal ruling party looks set to lose the mayoral offices in the two largest cities, making it harder for President Moon Jae-in to achieve the policy goals of his last year in office.-VE
Finance Minister says the global economy is poised to make a strong rebound on the back of a revival in manufacturing and the coronavirus vaccine rollout, said Thursday +VE
Stocks held by Korean individuals jumped by 58% last year, getting closer to be on par with that of foreigners amid an equity investment craze, data showed Thursday.  With around 3 million individuals started trading stocks last year. While the accumulated number of local retail investors came to 9.12 million, 32.8 percent of them were considered newcomers. A slight -VE
Govt said on Thursday it will issue so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports to immunized citizens, joining other nations introducing such certificates to revive cross-border travel while keeping infection risks under control.
The US trade watchdog cleared SK Innovation Co Ltd of violating rival LG Energy Solution’s patents in a preliminary ruling, sending SK shares surging 15% on Thursday.  It marks the first time LG Energy Solution has received a negative determination from the trade panel for one of its several legal disputes with SK in the United States.  This is a separate issue from the February ruling on trade secret theft; where  the ITC sided with LG, issuing a limited 10-year exclusion order prohibiting imports into the United States of SK’s lithium-ion batteries.
Carmakers’ March sales +12% YoY helped by robust overseas demand for SUVs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, industry data showed Thursday. The five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor, Kia, GM Korea, Renault Samsung Motors and SsangYong Motor -- sold a combined 672,643 vehicles in March, up from 601,082 units a year ago, according to data from the companies. +VE.
Kia reported March sales +19% YoY, Hyundai’s were +22% but Renault Samsung -43% and Ford -21.8%
SsangYong Motor, the cash-strapped Korean affiliate of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra, hung in the balance Thursday, as it failed to secure a letter of intent from its likely investor, US-based HAAH Automotive; making court receivership more likely.
Pharmaceutical and biopharma companies are ramping up efforts to get listed on the Nasdaq market, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Korean e-commerce giant Coupang with their US market debut. Slight +VE but likely to be a difficult process.
Kakao Mobility, Korea’s digital transportation service app operator, said Thursday the company will explore new business opportunities together with Google. Under their partnership, Kakao has attracted investment of $50 million from the US tech giant, which is to be paid completely by April 22, according to the company’s regulatory filing.  +VE
Samsung Electronics Co. has lowered the price of its latest foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold2, industry insiders said Thursday, in an effort to popularize the foldable smartphone category. Slight -VE
Govt pledged Thursday to support the power semiconductor industry amid growing demand for energy-efficient chips with stronger durability. Under the goal, the country plans to develop at least five power semiconductor products by 2025, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. South Korea also plans to support local businesses to establish the production lines of six- to eight-inch foundry factories. +VE
Expect market to open higher following the US with a focus on Tech
No Data due market will closed Monday Qingming festival
Thursdays PMI data was the ninth month of expansion with all sectors reporting an uptick in business amid deepening concern over inflation risks. The economic barometer has been above 60 for five months in a row, although it has slowed from a peak in January,  the Chunghua Institution for Economic Research  said yesterday.
Evergreen Marine Corp  is to continue using “megaships”; vessels with more than 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of capacity, on its European routes, despite a Suez Canal incident, the container shipper said yesterday.  Evergreen Marine uses two kinds of vessels on its Europe routes, six with capacity of 14,000 TEUs and 11 with 20,000 TEUs. +VE
The government’s Triple Stimulus Vouchers helped boost Taiwan’s retail sector last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday as it unveiled the final tally for the program. The ministry’s statistics showed that 23.32 million people in Taiwan, or 99 percent of the population, participated in the program, claiming either paper or digital vouchers. +VE
Housing transactions last month climbed in four of the nation’s special municipalities; Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan and Taoyuan. Rising by between 8 to 19 percent from their levels at the same time last year, underpinned by real demand, real-estate brokerages said yesterday. +VE
Micron Technology on Wednesday gave a bullish forecast, buoyed by demand for semiconductors that store data on computers and smartphones.  Revenue this quarter would be US$7.1 billion, plus or minus US$200 million, Micron said in a statement.  Micron and rivals Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc are rushing to increase supply.  It also warned about a water shortage in Taiwan, which has reduced water supply to one of the company’s DRAM factories.  “At this time, we do not see an impact to DRAM production output; however, this is a developing situation that we are monitoring closely for the next several months.”
Taiwan opened its first travel bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, with the small, tourism-dependent Pacific state of Palau, offering a lifeline to a country in a region where China and the United States are battling for influence.
Taiwan to buy new US missiles to guard against China. It decided to buy the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles.  Comes as Taiwan has complained of repeated incursions by China’s air force in recent months into the island’s air defence identification zone

Expect market to open higher following the US rebound but likely to see caution into the close ahead of the long weekend and the releases of US payrolls data.
No data due market will be closed Monday Ching Ming Festival 
Health officials in China say more than 20,000 coronavirus disease tests have been done so far in Ruili city in Yunnan province, where there is a new outbreak, AP reports. Six more locals were diagnosed with the coronavirus diseas on Wednesday in Ruili, total over the past two days to at least 15, including at least four Myanmar citizens. City authorities plan to test Ruili’s entire population of about 210,000 people, and require them to quarantine at home for one week.
A wave of African swine fever outbreaks this year has wiped out at least 20% of the breeding herd in northern China, industry sources and analysts said, exceeding expected losses and raising fears about the potential for further impact in the south. -VE
China overtook the United States to lead a boom in global green- bond issuance in the first quarter, but analysts said it needs to do more to draw investors to help fund President Xi Jinping’s estimated $21 trillion carbon neutrality pledge.  Pending tasks include raising investor awareness of the environment, harmonising fragmented rules and tackling ‘greenwashing’, or issuers’ efforts to inflate their green credentials, they said. At stake is Beijing’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2060.
Shares of Alibaba-backed Energy Monster, China’s largest provider of mobile charging devices, jumped nearly 18% in their Nasdaq debut on Thursday after the company’s initial public offering (IPO) was priced below the indicated range. The firm’s shares opened at $10 per American depositary share (ADS), higher than the IPO price of $8.50 per ADS. The company, which filed its prospectus under the listing vehicle’s name of Smart Share Global, sold 17.65 million shares at $8.50 each to raise about $150 million. +VE
'Xinjiang cotton is my love': Patriots on show at China Fashion Week  Designer Zhou Li took to the stage amid applause following her runway show at China Fashion Week with a prop that has political overtones: a bouquet of cotton plants. “As far as I’m concerned, I think Xinjiang cotton is my sweetheart, my love, which is to say I’m very grateful it has brought me such happiness,” Zhou, 56, told Reuters after her show on Tuesday in Beijing.  Zhou, chief designer and founder of Chinese fashion brand Sun-Bird.
Manila has demanded more than 200 Chinese vessels leave Whitsun Reef as a South China Sea dispute again threatens to escalate into confrontation.   Chinese and Philippine foreign ministers set to meet, days after Philippines said its military aircraft received warnings from the anchored ships. The vessels, which are inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) at the reef in the Spratly Islands, about 320km (175 nautical miles) west of the Philippine province of Palawan. Sovereignty over all or some of the islands is claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.  The Philippines says the ships are maritime militia, while China insists they are civilian fishing boats.
China hopes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations can provide a stabilising influence in Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Singaporean counterpart on Wednesday.  It hopes they will adopt a non interference policy.  Such a policy would benefit China if it extended to disputes that China hopes to win around the region. Slight -VE

HONG KONG  Market closed re-opens Wednesday 
ADR’s closed +82pts at 29,021, broadly positive but with weakness in Tencent, BoC HK, HSBC and Sinopec.
No data due
Short Selling Thursday 18.7% vs +14.5% Wednesday

Top Shorts Sands China (1928) 45%,  ICBC (1398) 38%, BankComm (3328) 37%, Ping An (2318) 35%,  Hang Seng Bank (11) 33%, AAC Tech (2018) 32%, Hengan (1044) 31%, Ali Health (241) 29%, Henderson Land (12) 29%, HSBC (5) 28%, Galaxy Ent (27) 28%, Tencent (700) 26%, Bud Apac (1876) 26%.
Seven prominent activists, including Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai convicted for unlawful protest The defendants are media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying; founding chairman of the Democratic Party Martin Lee Chu-ming; and former lawmakers Margaret Ng, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho and Leung Kwok-hung. The judge will hear mitigation pleas before passing sentence.
The Eastern Magistrates’ Court today issued  warrant to arrest Zeng Lingxi after she failed to appear in Court to answer two charges of obstructing the Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) search operation in May 2020. The SFC’s search operation related to an investigation of a suspected social media ramp-and-dump scam involving manipulation of the shares of a Hong Kong-listed company. Zeng, an alleged member of a syndicate suspected of operating social media ramp-and-dump scams, is summoned for obstructing employees of the SFC in the execution of a search warrant and in exercising the powers under the Securities and Futures Ordinance during the search operation.  The Court was being told that Zeng had not returned to Hong Kong since her departure on 15 November 2020.
Wharf Hotels’ latest addition to the Niccolo Hotels - Niccolo Suzhou has officially opened at the top of the new super-skyscraper, Suzhou International Finance Square today.  The IFS, soaring 450-meters into the clouds, is hailed as The Beacon of the Future, with a striking fishtail profile symbolizing longevity and prosperity for the fabled city.
COUNTRY GARDEN (02007.HK) announced that it had achieved contracted sales attributable to the shareholders of approximately RMB52.69 billion, up 12% yearly, in March 2021.
R&F PROPERTIES (02777.HK) announced total contracted sales at the end of March 2021 were approximately RMB30.55 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 68%.
The Development Bureau announced that it has executed a land grant at nominal premium to Ma Wan Park Limited (MWPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of SHK PPT (00016.HK), for the development and operation of Ma Wan Park (MWP) without commercial gain. To ensure timely delivery of MWP Phase 2 and good governance of the entire MWP, the Government has also entered into a Supplemental Agreement (SA) and a Management Agreement (MA) with SHK.
Centa-City Leading Index (CCL) last printed at 180.33, down 0.33% weekly. 
CCL Mass came in at 182.48, down 0.55% weekly.
CCL (small-to-medium units) last reported at 180.50, down 0.34% weekly. CCL (large units) last tracked 179.48, down 0.30% weekly.
The research department of Centaline Property, expected second-hand home deals to stay vibrant as backed by users, seeing property prices to keep shooting up. CCL is set to attempt 190, likely hitting the goal around mid-2021.

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