May 24 Asian Macro Initial Thoughts Expect a lower open; Bitcoin's slide continues


24 May

This and previous notes can be found at  Sub stack Asian Market Sense
Check out ERI-C.com for your research needs

Asia
Australia 
Futures indicate market to open 5 pts lower following the US  weakness.  But oil closed higher +VE Santos & Woodside, Gold was lower but the sell off in Bitcoin may see it gain more traction. Iron ore was -5.3% according to Metal Bulletin -VE BHP and Rio Tinto.

Japan Nikkei futures opened -52pts but have eased to -20pts; so expect a lower open and cautious trading.  Kuroda’s speaks this evening.  Covid concerns remain but Tech, Robotics and Entertainment should remain firm.  

S Korea Expect markets to open lower following the US and on covid concerns.  

Taiwan Market to open lower following a strong Friday with sentiment cautious on covid and US markets but local companies still seeing strong demand and TSMC should be +VE after saying it would address the auto markets’ chip shortage.

China Market to open lower, concerns over covid cases and cocnerns over international relations as Lithuania said on Saturday it was quitting China’s 17+1.

HK ADR’s closed -102pts @ 28,356 with weakness in Chinese Financials and E-commerce.

Europe  No data due

US Futures 
Opened mixed Dow +44pts, S&P flat NDX -0.15
Data due Chicago Fed National Activity Index
Fed Speakers Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic Noon
Kansas City Fed President Esther George After Market
Earnings: Lordstown Motors


Bitcoin & other crypto’s continues to fall over the weekend currently $34,078  -9.5% in the last 24hrs.  Hong Kong said that cryptocurrency exchanges will have to be licensed (as a virtual asset services provider) and will only be  allowed to provide services to professional investors.
Cryptocurrencies could stay a feature of global markets as something akin to “digital gold,” even if their importance in economies remains limited, former US secretary of the treasury Lawrence Summers said.
Germany wants the European Union to create a "climate club" with other countries like the United States, Japan and possibly even China to avoid trade friction linked to green tariffs such as a planned carbon border levy.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said it is "too early" to taper the bond-buying program, sticking to the commitment to maintaining "favourable financing conditions throughout the whole pandemic period.”


JAPAN 

Nikkei futures opened -52pts but have eased to -20pts; so expect a lower open and cautious trading.  Kuroda’s speaks this evening.  Covid concerns remain but Tech, Robotics and Entertainment should remain firm.  
Yen closed 108.94
No data due but BoJ Gov Kuroda speech
Key this week will be CPI (expected to have eased) and Unemployment expected to have risen.  
Tokyo reported 535 new covid cases Sunday  (-67 DoD) , Hakkaido reported 605, nationwide the total 1,304 a new high
Japan expanded a state of emergency to cover the southern island of Okinawa on Friday.  On Sunday it also said the duration of the state of emergency might be extended past May31.  Comes as authorities approved two more coronavirus vaccines to speed a lagging inoculation campaign. The newly approved vaccines, from Moderna Inc and AstraZeneca PLC, will join the one co-developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE in a vaccination drive that began in mid-February.
Nearly 70% of Japanese firms want the Tokyo Olympics either cancelled or postponed, a Reuters survey found, underscoring concerns that the Games will increase coronavirus infections at a time when the medical system is under heavy strain. But the IOC says it can proceed even if Tokyo is in a state of emergency raising public resentment.  Comes as a survey shows 50% of nurses at covid wards have considered quitting; which suggests that medical wages are going to come under pressure for significant hikes.  To me it seems the Olympic committee and the Government are risking damaging to their reputations by not listening to public opinion.
Toyota Motor Corp. is focusing on the development of an engine that uses hydrogen as fuel as part of its efforts to expand the options for environmentally friendly vehicles.  
The automaker said it aims to utilize hydrogen in a way different from fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) that use electricity generated from hydrogen to power their motors.
All metro trains operating in the U.S. capital may be replaced by ones made by Japanese firms if the operator procures additional rolling stock from Hitachi Ltd., the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has said.  Since Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.’s 7000-series already accounts for over half of the rolling stock in the city, all the metro cars will be supplied by Japanese makers if the authority fully exercises its contract with Hitachi Rail Washington LLC to procure up to 800 rail cars.

The government is likely to forgo submitting an extra budget to the current parliament session running until June 16, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday.

Japan will have no choice but to rethink its Myanmar development aid if the situation in the Southeast Asian country does not improve, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Friday, adding that private investment might also not be possible.

FT reports SoftBank’s Yuko Kawamoto exits in board shake-up. She and Ron Fisher.  Replacing her  will be Keiko Erikawa, female chair of entertainment group Koei Tecmo Holdings reportedly well known for her stock picking skills. Key will be whether she can challenge Son’s investment decisions.

Shoei Kisen An Egyptian court on Sunday rejected a complaint by the Japanese owner of a container ship that blocked traffic in the Suez Canal for six days in March against the vessel's continued detention by canal authorities, a lawyer said. -VE

Japanese dating app operator Net Marketing Co. said Friday personal data of 1.71 million users, including names and face photos, was likely leaked due to unauthorized access to its server. -VE

SOUTH KOREA 
Expect markets to open lower following the US and on covid concerns.
No data due
KDCA reported 666 new covid cases Saturday
(vs 561 Friday 646 Thursday) -VE

Government on Friday approved Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, as the country attempts to speed up its inoculation efforts, drug safety minister Kim Gang-lip told a news conference.

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) entered into a deal with the South Korean government to manufacture their COVID-19 vaccines, as the country has been under pressure to secure more and faster deliveries of U.S.-made vaccines.  Moderna said on Saturday its vaccine will be manufactured by Samsung Biologics Co (207940.KS).  Novavax also on Saturday reaffirmed its partnership with South Korean firm SK bioscience Co Ltd (302440.KS). +VE
President Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday injected fresh urgency into attempts to engage North Korea in dialogue over its nuclear weapons,
with Biden saying he would meet its leader Kim Jong Un under the right conditions. The Statement did not specifically mention just about keeping the region safe from activities that could undermine peace and stability.

Full text  http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20210522000118

Four major South Korean companies, including Samsung and SK, on Friday announced plans to invest $39.4 billion in the United States, ahead of President Moon Jae-in's summit with US President Joe Biden in Washington. The announcement were largely expected;

Samsung Electronics announced plans to invest $17 billion in a new foundry plant. LG Energy Solution and SK innovation, which make batteries, said they plan to invest some $14 billion in separate and joint projects, while Hyundai Motor announced plans to invest $7.4 billion in expanding the electric vehicle production and recharging infrastructure in the US. SK hynix also said it has plans to spend $1 billion on building a large-scale research and development center in Silicon Valley. Still slight +VE

The volume of container cargo processed at S Korea's seaports +5.7% YoY in April amid hope for global recovery from the economic fallout of the new coronavirus pandemic, the country's oceans ministry said Sunday  +VE Shippers.

SK hynix, on Friday said it has earned approval from Europe's antitrust watchdog for its acquisition of Intel Corp.'s NAND business. +VE

Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, are expected to enjoy a super cycle in the global memory chip market until 2023, industry sources said Friday. According to international market tracker IC Insights, global sales of memory chips will reach a record high of $180.4 billion in 2022.  +VE

BUT SAMSUNG is seeing a number of downgrades as analysts worry that the it will suffer due to the drop in shipments of consumer goods in Q2 onwards due to componant shortages

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering said Friday that it will localize a core technology to propel ships, in order to advance its competitiveness, especially regarding high value-added vessels. DSME has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyosung Heavy Industries, the industrial motor manufacturer under Hyosung Group, to jointly develop a shaft generator motor using permanent magnet, according to officials. +VE

Bithumb, South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, shrugged off questions on Friday about a fraud case involving a major shareholder. -VE for sentiment.

Stock manipulators will face confiscations of not only illegal gains but also their seed money under a revised capital market law that seeks to raise the integrity of the market.  The National Assembly on Friday approved a partial revision to the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act aimed at improving investor protection and preventing market manipulation. +VE


TAIWAN 
Expect market to open flat following a strong Friday with sentiment cautious on covid and US markets but local companies still seeing strong demand and TSMC should be +VE after saying its going to take action to address the shortage of auto chips.
Data due after market 
Unemployment, Industrial Production, Retail Sales and M2 Money Supply

CECC reported 270 new covid cases Sunday (vs 312 Saturday); along with 170 delayed due to reporting backlog cases.  This week it is crucial to see a decline otherwise the emergency level is likely to be raised.

Taipei City government on Sunday announced a ban on all on-site dining and drinking in the city starting Monday in response to the continued increase in domestically transmitted coronavirus cases in the capital city.  These outlets will only be allowed to serve takeout food or make deliveries starting next week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je announced.  -VE Restaurant chains.

Taiwan's power supply is projected to be tight for the next five weekdays as electricity consumption is expected to increase due mainly to stronger demand (Heatwave and people working from home) and ongoing annual generator overhauls at four power plants, according to state-own Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower). -VE

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the issue of Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly has been added to the health meeting's agenda as a supplementary item. Foreign ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou on Friday afternoon (May 21) said that Taiwan’s inclusion in the global health meeting is now a supplementary item to be discussed during the assembly.

A Taiwanese official accused China on Saturday of spreading fake news about the COVID-19 situation on the island, saying this was why the government was publicising and refuting instances of false information that have been circulating online.  After months of keeping the pandemic under control, Taiwan is dealing with a surge in domestic infections, and the whole island is under a heightened state of alert with people asked to stay at home and many venues shut.

Legislators yesterday passed the second reading of draft proposals to boost government spending for industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to NT$630 billion (US$22.55 billion). +VE

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which commands more than half of the global foundry market, Friday said it is taking “unprecedented actions” to boost supply of microcontroller units (MCU) by 60 percent this year to mitigate a severe automotive chip crunch. It would increase 2021 output for MCUs, one of the key components in automotive semiconductor products, by 60 percent from the 2020 level, representing a 30 percent increase over the 2019 pre-pandemic level in this critical product category,” the statement said.

It also announced introducing a rotational work schedule when the alert level was raised, so it said operations would not be affected by one of its staff testing positive for COVID-19 +VE

Other Taiwanese Tech companies have also announced increased disease prevention measures.

MiTAC International Corp, the world’s biggest aftermarket automotive global positioning system (GPS) device maker, yesterday predicted sustainable demand, but higher costs.  A shortage of electronic components that has plagued the industry in the first quarter has shown no signs of abating, MiTAC president Billy Ho told an investors’ conference.

Wistron Corp yesterday confirmed that one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee works at its offices in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District, but has not been in since Friday last week, Wistron said. The company said it does not expect its operations to be affected by the employee’s health status, or the nationwide level 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

Local printed circuit board (PCB) makers are planning alternative water sources — such as using recycled water, preparing water storage facilities or hiring water trucks to transport water from remote areas — in anticipation of more stringent water rationing as the nation’s most severe water shortage in 56 years worsens.

CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp Saturday announced that gasoline prices would increase by NT$0.1 per liter this week after prices rose by the same amount last week.  Diesel prices are to remain unchanged this week following an increase of NT$0.1 per liter the previous week, the two companies said in separate statements.


CHINA 
Expect market to open lower with caution after the US close and with the concerns over PBOC tightening, defaults and government support for the recovery. The wild card remains ‘Team China’.
No data due
China reported 19 new coronavirus disease infections on May 22, up from 10 a day earlier. 
The  National Health Commission said in a statement Sunday that 18 were  imported infections. The number of new non symptomatic patients, which  China does not classify as confirmed, was 25, including one local   patient, Reuters reports.

Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019, months before China disclosed the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report. Lilely to raise more questions over China’s reluctance to allow a full unhindered WHO enquiry into the source of the virus, comes ahead of the WHO annual meeting  -VE

Lithuania said on Saturday it was quitting China’s 17+1 cooperation forum with central and eastern European states that includes other EU members, calling it “divisive”.  A member of the group since 2012, the Baltic country urged fellow European Union members to also leave amid deteriorating ties between the 27-member bloc and China.

PBOC says it has no plans to ease exchange rate controls.  Managed system is ‘an institutional arrangement fit for China at present and in the foreseeable future’, PBOC deputy governor says.   Statement comes after the deputy governor of the PBOC said on Sunday, the yuan exchange rate continuing to depend on market supply and demand, as well as changes in global financial markets and that the yuan must be allowed to float freely if Beijing wants it to be seen as an international currency.    

It followed news that China should let the yuan appreciate to offset the rising cost of commodity imports, a People’s Bank of China official said, Bloomberg reports. “As an important consumer of commodities globally, China is inevitably impacted by international market prices through imports,” Lyu Jinzhong, director of the research and statistics department at the central bank’s Shanghai branch, wrote in an article published Friday by China Finance, a magazine run by the PBOC. Would be -VE for exporters though.

FT reports that China increasing it inocuclations by offering incentives of eggs and cooking oil to rap videos urging citizens to “get jabbed quick”.

China's President Xi Jinping on Friday pledged an additional $3 billion in aid over the next three years to help developing countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and proposed setting up an international forum on vaccine cooperation. +VE

U.S. Department of Commerce will keep its defence up and take defensive actions against Chinese companies that threaten the national security, Secretary Gina Raimondo told Yahoo Finance.

Huawei will remain on the trade blacklist, while evaluation over tariffs against China will go on. -VE

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has so far been unable to speak with China’s top general despite multiple attempts to set up talks, U.S. defense officials said on Friday. -VE

The Philippines and China held "friendly and candid" talks on the South China Sea, the Philippines' foreign ministry said on Saturday, days after the minister ordered Chinese vessels out of the disputed waterway in an expletive-laced tweet. Interestingly the discussion included a call for compensation linked to the June 2019 sinking of a Philippine fishing boat and a call to repect the 2016 arbitration ruling on the South China Seas which dismissed China’s 9 dash line.

The top political leader of Tibet’s government in exile said on Friday that there is an urgent threat of “cultural genocide” in Tibet, and the international community must stand up to China ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.   In response China said it  will uphold the leadership of the Communist Party in Tibet to further its economic development, and guide Tibetan society in accordance to socialism, the region's top official said on Saturday.  ‘"Since the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951, everyone has discovered  that only with party leadership can Tibet continue on this road of  prosperous development," Wu said.’

FTSE Russell announced changes that BLUE MOON GROUP (06993.HK), YKA (300999.SZ) and CICC (601995.SH) have been included into Global Equity Index, whereas GREE (000651.SZ) has been removed.

Chinese banks raise mortgage rates, helping to rein in runaway prices that puts housing affordability further out of reach. Shenzhen, Nanchang, Hangzhou are among the cities that have seen rising mortgage rates for first-time borrowers and second-home buyers. The national average mortgage rate for first-home buyers rising 11 basis points since January to 5.33 per cent in May -VE developers but +VE banks

China would more than double the number of millionaires in the next five years and boost the size of the middle class by almost half, spurring consumption in the economy, HSBC Holdings PLC said. The number of high-net-worth individuals is likely to increase from more than 2 million to 5 million by 2025, it said. The middle class, which numbers about 340 million now based on the narrowest definition, would grow by more than 45 percent to more than 500 million in the period, it said. “An expanding middle class will underpin medium to long-term economic growth, and stronger consumer spending boosts domestic demand, business confidence, and capital expenditure,” HSBC economists led by Qu Hongbin wrote in a note yesterday.

Strong earthquakes rattle Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Qinghai, leaving at least three dead, 27 injured. The Yunnan earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.4, struck first at 9.48pm on Friday; the 7.4-magnitude Qinghai quake struck hours later. All the reported deaths and injuries so far have been recorded in Yunnan.

Five people were killed in Dalian city when a car drove into people crossing street, the driver claimed he wanted revenge on society after a failed investment -VE for sentiment.  

Twenty-one people were killed when extremely cold weather struck during an ultramarathon in rugged Gansu province in northwestern China, sparking public outrage on Sunday over the lack of contingency planning. -VE for sentient

HONG KONG  
ADR’s -102pts @ 28,356 with weakness in Chinese Financials and E-commerce which is likely to continue. Expect to see some movement after the HSI index review which came out after market Friday. Pharma in focus with Q1 earnings due
No data due but after market Friday
HK Inflation Rate Apr +0.7% vs +0.5% Mar (F/cast was +0.4%)

Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in April 2021 was 0.3%, marginally larger than that in March 2021 (0.2%). The larger increase was mainly due to the increases in local transport fares and the enlarged increases in the prices of motor fuel.

Short Selling Friday 13.1% vs 18.9% Thursday
Top Shorts  
ICBC (1398) 43%, Bank Comm (3328) 41%, Hengan (1044) 40%,  Country Garden (2007) 36%, Henderson Land (12) 35%,Bud Apac(1876) 34%, Hang Seng Bank (11) 34%, BOC (3988) 34%, Petrochina (857) 30%, Shenzhou Int (2313) 30%, HSBC (5) 30%, CK Asset (1113) 29%, Anta Sports (2020) 25%.

Earning due this week include
CSPCPharm, SinoBio, Ali Health, Lees Pharma this week. Others include Kingsoft, Emperor Group, Xiaomi, Dynam, Boyaa, Lenovo, Sincere and Meituan.

Privatisation
Chong Hing Bank
privatisation continues to see interest it started at around 5% gross spread before tightening up to around 3% gross. Possible risks are a blocking stake for the deal; which is1.607% stake or 15,633,030 shares (valued at approximatelyUS$41m at the deal px).

National Security
The Hong Kong government slamed Taiwan for grossly interfering with Hong Kong's affairs on repeated occasions and created irretrievable damage to Hong Kong-Taiwan relations,
after closing its representative office in Taiwan three days ago. “Most notably, Taiwan has launched the so-called "Hong Kong Aid Project" and unilaterally established the so-called "Taiwan-Hong Kong Office for Exchanges and Services" under the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council, which go against the founding purpose of the council,” the spokesman added.

Covid
Hong Kong reported 2 new covid cases Sunday. The government also locked down Tower 6 of Island Harbourview in Tai Kok Tsui at 8pm after a domestic helper there tested positive for the N501Y variant of Covid-19.

WATCH
Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited Friday announced the results of its review of the Hang Seng Family of Indexes for the quarter ended 31 March 2021. All changes will take effect on 7 June 2021 (Monday).
For Hang Seng Index, 
XINYI SOLAR (00968.HK), BYD COMPANY (01211.HK) and CG SERVICES (06098.HK) will be added to the index. The number of constituents will increase from 55 to 58.

For Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, BYD COMPANY (01211.HK) and EVERG SERVICES (06666.HK) will be added to the index, while GUANGDONG INV (00270.HK), CHINA UNICOM (00762.HK) and CHINA TOWER (00788.HK) will be deleted. The total number of constituents will be reset to 50 from current 51.

For Hang Seng TECH Index, AUTOHOME-S (02518.HK) and BILIBILI-SW (09626.HK) will be added to the index, while ZTE (00763.HK), FIT HON TENG (06088.HK) and ARCHOSAUR GAMES (09990.HK) will be removed. The total number of constituents will be reset to 30 from current 31.

FTSE Russell announced changes that BLUE MOON GROUP (06993.HK), YKA (300999.SZ) and CICC (601995.SH) have been included into Global Equity Index, whereas GREE (000651.SZ) has been removed.

Centaline Property Agency reported 21 secondary deals at 10 blue-chip housing estates over the past weekend, -25 % WoW

Henderson Land Development (0012) received about 130 checks for the 50 flats in the first price list of The Upper South in Ap Lei Chau, making the batch 1.6 times oversubscribed.

LANDING INTL (00582.HK) announced issuance of 704 million shares to Wealth Millennium at $0.197 each, representing a 18.60% discount to the closing price yesterday. The estimated net proceeds approximated $139 million. -VE

GCL-POLY ENERGY (03800.HK) announced that the Lender had purportedly exercised its security interests over the Pledged Shares.

As a result, the 865 million Pledged Shares in GCL NEWENERGY (00451.HK) was forfeited on or around 6 June 2020.

CIMC (02039.HK) announced that the proposed issuance of A shares by and listing of its subsidiary CIMC Safe Tech on the ChiNext of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange were considered and passed at an EGM. It is currently expected that the net proceeds to be raised from the Listing Proposal will be RMB1 billion. +VE

KING FOOK HOLD (00280.HK) has issued a positive profit alert, expecting consolidated profit attributable to owners of the Company for the year ended 31 March 2021 of over HK$25 million, up around 3.3 times yearly.   +VE

CHINA HUARONG (02799.HK) announced that it has always conscientiously fulfilled its debt repayment obligations in a responsible manner. From 1 April to 20 May, China Huarong and its subsidiaries paid a total of 25 maturing domestic and overseas bonds on schedule. It MD told Caixin Media that it is "nowhere near" defaulting on its more than US$20 billion (HK$156 billion) in offshore bonds.

Neither its major shareholder, the Ministry of Finance, nor Chinese regulators would allow the state-owned asset management company to default, Ling Huawei wrote in an opinion piece Saturday. I still think there is likely to be a restructuring with haircuts. -VE

CATHAY PAC (293 HK) cargo capacity gradually recovering. Fell off in April 36.6% vs Feb after the relaxation of stricter crew quarantine rules in the middle of the month. But rebounding and helped by 80% of pilots and over 40% of cabin crew in Hong Kong have either booked or received their vaccination. +VE and comes China Airlines has warned that around 10% of its cargo capacity will be affected as its pilots are required to quarantine for 14 days.

TONGDAO LIEPIN (06100.HK) announced the first quarter result ended March 2021. The loss narrowed from RMB12.373 million in the corresponding period of previous year to RMB7.859 million.
XIAOMI-W (01810.HK) announced that it had entered into strategic framework cooperation with Beijing Sport University,
whereby the two parties will co-nudge the conversion of high-level academic achievements.
TIMES NEIGHBOR (09928.HK) has been informed by its controlling shareholder Best Source that Best Source had acquired an aggregate of 900,000 shares
at an average price of approximately HK$5.44 per Share in the open market on 17 May 2021, 18 May 2021 and 20 May 2021, involving $4.896 million.
CHINA RE (01508.HK) announced that the aggregate primary premium income of China Reinsurance (Group) Corporation
as derived from the operating subsidiary of the Company, China Continent Property & Casualty Insurance Company Ltd., for the period from 1 January 2021 to 30 April 2021 was approximately RMB15.791 billion.

The Lands Department (LandsD) announced that a site, Lot No. 4076 in Demarcation District No. 91 at the junction of Fan Kam Road and Castle Peak Road - Kwu Tung, Fanling, New Territories, in the 2021-22 Land Sale Programme will be disposed of by public tender. The tender invitation for the lot will commence on May 28 and close on June 25.

Centa-City Leading Index (CCL) last tracked at 184.65, up 0.53% weekly to a new high since September 2019, which put the index only 3.06% away from its record high.
CCL Mass added 0.19% weekly to 187.31;
CCL (mid-and-small units) grew 0.25% weekly to 184.85;
CCL (large units) went up 2.09% weekly to 183.61.

SWIRE PACIFIC A (00019.HK) and SWIRE PROPERTIES (01972.HK) announced changes to the board of directors.

Merlin Bingham SWIRE, the chairman of SWIRE PACIFIC A and of SWIRE PROPERTIES, has indicated his intention to resume his position as chief executive of John Swire & Sons Limited (the holding company of the wider Swire group) and to return to London. As a consequence, he will step down as chairman of Swire Pacific and Swire Properties. He will remain a director of Swire Pacific, Swire Properties and CATHAY PAC AIR (00293.HK).

Guy Martin Coutts BRADLEY, a director and currently the chief executive of Swire Properties will become a director of Swire Pacific and Cathay Pacific and will succeed Merlin Bingham SWIRE as a chairman of Swire Pacific and Swire Properties. Bradley will cease to be the chief executive of Swire Properties.

The above changes will take effect on 24th August 2021.

Following the conclusion of the public consultation on proposals to amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO) (Cap. 615), the Government published Friday (May 21) a paper outlining the views received during the consultation, its responses and conclusions on the way forward. The gist being in addition to a range of administration sanctions, it proposed the following maximum level of criminal sanctions, on conviction on indictment - conducting a regulated VA activity without a licence: a fine of $5 million and imprisonment for seven years; and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine of $100,000 for every day during which the offence continues.

HKEX (00388.HK) announced the appointment of Alejandro Nicolas Aguzin as the Chief Executive, effective 24 May 2021, for a term of three years until 23 May 2024. Aguzin’s compensation package includes a basic salary of HK$10 million per annum.

FROM Friday
DOW +0.36%, NDX -0.48%, S&P -0.08%, Russel 2K +0.34%
Markets opened at the day highs on strong PMI data but trended lower through the morning and then traded sideways in the PM.  Bitcoin/crypto and related names under pressure talk of  the US IRS involvement in more regulation following comments from China and the Fed saying it would relasese a discussion paper on a US digital currency ; Coinbase -4%, Microstrategy -4.7%, Tesla -1%.
Concerns on Fed tapering eased through the weak.
Ford +6.7% announced 20k reservations for its F-150 electric version.
Home Depot +0.7% on buy back programme annoucement
Oatly +11% following its +18% on its IPO debut Thursday.

Banks opened higher and largely traded sideways/lower; JPMorgan Chase +1.1%, Citigroup +1.9% Wells Fargo +0.4%, Amex +0.9%

Work from home names: Facebook -0.8% increased selling into the close, Apple -1.5%  & Amazon -1.4% trended lower all day, Netflix -0.8% traded sideways,  Disney +0.6% choppy, Zoom Video -2.6% initially sold off and trended lower, Alphabet -0.6% sold down at lunch and traded sideways. Microsoft -0.5% trended lower all day,

Tech NXP Semi flat choppy trading sold down in last 30 mins, Nvidia +2.6% (announced 4 for 1 share split) and Micron -0.5% sideways all day, AMD -1.1% sold down early, Skyworks -1.1% initially tested higher but sold down after 30 mins.

Re-opening stocks  Boeing +3.2% opened higher on increased production of 737 Max then traded sideways, Caterpillar +1% rallied then sideways, Simon Property -0.2% initial spike then sold down in choppy trading, sideways from lunch, Kohl’s -0.15% sideways, Nordstrom -0.9% sideways but then sold down in last 30 minutes, Gap -0.1% small spike initially then sideways, United Airlines +0.4% initial rally then sideways for most of the day but sold down into the close, Carnival -1.3%  trended lower all day. Wynn Resorts +0.6% initial spike trended lower to early afternoon flat then worked higher into the close, Chevron +0.5% sideways roll-a-coaster, Exxon Mobil +0.1% sideways but sold down into the close.  

Lock down names Campbell Soup flat and General Mills +0.4% after initil spike was sold down through the morning then flat.  JM Smucker +0.6% similar but worked better in the afternoon.

DATA
PMI Flash data
Services May 70.1 vs 64.7 Apr (F/Cast was 64)
Composite May 68.1 vs 63.5 Apr (F/Cast was 63)
Manufacturing  May 61.5 vs 60.5 Apr (F/Cast was 59.8)
Existing Home Sales Apr -2.7% vs -3.7% Mar (F/cast was +0.7%)
Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 356 vs 352 prior
Baker Hughes Total Rig Count 455 vs 453 prior

USD was slightly stronger vs Yen & Euro. Taper concerns have eased suggesting the market is buying into the Feds ‘transitory inflation’.
Bitcoin -7.7% @ 37,095.82 as fears of more US regulations and IRS involvement and Musks tweets,
VIX -2.5% @ 20.15, US T10 @ 1.623%
OIL Brent +2.04%, WTI +2.65%
Gold -0.01%, Silver -1.45%, Copper -1.28% Platinum -2.83%, Palladium -3.32%.

AHEAD
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Apr (March was +1.71 F/cast is +2.5)

DAX +0.44%, CAC +0.68%, FTSE -0.02%
FTSE opened lower and dipped despite good retail sales and PMI data then traded around flat all day. CAC and DAX opened higher and traded just above flat rising slowly in the PM to close around their highs.

French PMI’s beat but German slightly missed expectations. Eurozone business growth hit a 3 year high. Ahead we have a EU Finance ministers in person meeting.

BioNTech said, Thursday, said the Covid-19 vaccine it developed alongside Pfizer is likely to be equally as effective against the new virus variant first discovered in India as it was against the one found in South Africa.
Richemont +5% in early trade after it proposed doubling its dividend after a 38% rise in net profit for its fiscal year 2020/21.
CTS Eventim +1.2% off initial highs after Commerzbank raised its price target following a strong earnings report Thursday.
Swedish business group Lifco gained +0.7% but off the initial high.
Lufthansa -6.5% and traded sideways after the Thiele family, its second-largest shareholder, offloaded more than half of its stake in the airline following the death of Heinz Hermann Thiele.

DATA
EUROZONE
PMI Flash data
Manufacturing May 62.8 vs 62.9 Apr (F/Cast was 62.2)
Services May 55.1 vs 50.5 Apr (F/Cast was 52.6)
Composite May 56.9 vs 53.8 Apr (F/Cast was 54.5)
Consumer Confidence Flash May -5.1 vs -8.1 Apr (F/cast was -7)

GERMANY
PMI Flash data
Manufacturing May 64 vs 66.2 Apr (F/Cast was 65.7)
Services May 52.8 vs 49.9 Apr (F/Cast was 52.5)
Composite May 56.2 vs 55.8 Apr (F/Cast was 57.5)

FRANCE
PMI Flash data
Manufacturing May 59.2 vs 58.9 Apr (F/Cast was 58.4)
Services May 56.6 vs 50.3 Apr (F/Cast was 53.6)
Composite May 57 vs 51.6 Apr (F/Cast was 54.5)

UK
Retail Sales Apr +9.2% MoM vs +5.1% Mar revised (F/cast was +3.8%)
Retail Sales Apr +42.4% YoY vs +7.2% Mar (F/cast was +37%)
Retail Sales ExFuel Apr +9% MoM vs +4.6% Mar revised (F/cast was +3.7%)
Retail Sales Ex Fuel Apr 37.7% YoY vs +7.9% Mar (F/cast was +32%)  
PMI Flash data
Manufacturing May 66.1 vs 60.9 Apr (F/Cast was 60)
Services May 61.8 vs 61.0 Apr (F/Cast was 61.7)
Composite May 62 vs 60.7 Apr (F/Cast was 61.5)

AHEAD
EUROZONE No data due
GERMANY No data due
FRANCE No data due
UK  No data due


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