Things to know before trading Asia on Monday. Japan, China and UK closed

01 May

Australia Market likely to open lower following the US but pre market we get Group Manufacturing Index and PMI. Then later Inflation Gauge an Job Ads.
Market closed Constitution Memorial Day reopens Thursday
S Korea 
Expect markets to open lower, short selling resumes trade data out Saturday was weaker than expected.
Market to open higher after strong GDP growth data out after market Friday and chip prices rising +VE for TSMC, UMC and others
Market closed Labour Day holiday re-opens Wednesday
HK ADR’s indicate -91pts @ 28,837 with weakness in Chinese Financials and E-Commerce names especially; downside to be exacerbated by initial margin calls after Friday’s 578pts fall and light volumes with China, Japan and UK closed. Earnings largely complete so expect more news flows and analyst updates.
US closed lower.  Another big week for earnings ahead and the Jobs report on Friday
Earnings include from General Motors to ViacomCBS. Pharma will be in the spotlight as Covid vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna both report. Draftkings and Beyond Meat are also on the schedule. A host of travel-related companies issue results, including Booking Holdings, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott Vacations and Caesars Entertainment. Consumer brands, like Anheuser Busch Inbev and Estee Lauder also report, as do insurers including AIG, Allstate, and MetLife.

DOW -0.54%, NDX -0.85%, S&P -0.72%, Russel 2K -1.26% 
Markets opened lower despite the good Amazon numbers, Dow and S&P drifted lower in the morning and then traded sideways to slightly higher in the PM. NDX opened lower with weakness in Apple and Twitter offsetting the good Amazon results; but worked better initially and tested Thursdays close but failed and then trended lower for the rest of the session.
Data was stronger than forecast including the Core PCE raising concerns about the Fed’s accommodative policy. Signs of some end of month rebalancing.
Twitter weak as active users missed, Apple weak as EU upholds Spotify’s complaint that it broke EU competition rules; which could influence its case with Epic
Amazon results showed continuing demand even as High Streets and Malls re-open.Western Digital -0.7% but was initially higher on better than expected results Clorox -1.9% after weak revenue and softer guidance
Banks JPMorgan Chase -0.9%, Citigroup -3.5% Wells Fargo -2.6%, Amex -0.8%
Work from home names: Facebook -1.4%, Apple -1.5%, Amazon -0.11%, Netflix +0.9%,  Disney +0.4%, Zoom Video +0.5%, Alphabet -1.6% and Microsoft -0.1%,
Tech NXP Semi -4.1%, Nvidia -2%, Micron -2.3%, AMD -2.7%, Skyworks -8.4%
Re-opening stocks  Boeing -0.7%, Caterpillar +0.3%, Simon Property -1.3%, Kohl’s -0.7%, Nordstrom -2.6%, Gap -2.2%, United Airlines +1.3%, Carnival +2.8%, Wynn Resorts -0.5%, Chevron -3.6%, Exxon Mobil -2.9%,  
Lock down nameCampbell Soup -0.5% General Mills -0.9%, JM Smucker -0.7%
Personal Income Mar +21.1% vs -7% Feb revised (F/cast was +20.5%) reflects arrival of stimulus cheques.
Personal Spending Mar +4.2% vs -1% Feb (F/cast was +4.6%) it would appear a reluctant to spend the stimulus
Employment Cost Index Q1 +0.9% QoQ vs +0.7% Q4 (F/cast was +0.7%)
Employment Cost Benefits Q1 +0.6% QoQ vs +0.6% Q4 (F/cast was +0.6%)
Employment Cost Wages Q1 +1% QoQ vs +0.8% Q4 revised (F/cast was +0.9%)
PCE Price Index Mar +2.3% YoY vs +1.5% Feb revised (F/cast was +1.9%)
PCE Price Index Mar +0.5% MoM vs +0.2% Feb (F/cast was +0.3%)
Core PCE Price Index Mar +1.8% YoY vs +1.4% Feb (F/cast was +1.7%)
Core PCE Price Index Mar +0.4% MoM vs +0.1% Feb (F/cast was +0.2%)
Chicago PMI Apr 72.1 vs 66.3 Mar (F/cast was 66)
Michigan Data Final
Consumer Expectations Apr 82.7 vs 79.7 Mar (F/cast was 79.7)
Current Conditions Apr 97.2 vs 93 Mar (F/cast was 97.2)
5 year Inflation Expectations Apr 2.7% vs 2.8% Mar (F/cast was 2.7%)
Inflation Expectations Apr +3.4% vs +3.1% Mar (F/cast was +3.7%)
Consumer Sentiment Apr 88.3 vs 84.9 Mar (F/cast was 86.5)
Baker Hughes OilRig Count 342 vs 343 prior
Baker Hughes Total Rig Count 440 vs 438 prior
USD was stringer vs Yen & Euro. Bitcoin +9.1% @ 57,764.20, VIX +5.7% @18.61,
10 @ 1.626% fell slightly on strong personal income and spending dataOIL Brent -1.9%, WTI -2.3% on concerns over covid in India hitting demand and weak Japanese crude import data; showed a 25% YoY drop in March
Gold +0.03% but up for the month, Silver -0.36%, Copper -0.68% Platinum +0.53%, Palladium -0.51% from its record high Thursday.
AHEAD Manufacturing PMI, Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing Data (PMI, Prices, Orders and Employment)

DAX -0.12%, CAC -0.53%, FTSE +0.12% 
Markets opened slightly higher on some good premarket data but are drifting lower as Eurozone data mixed and shows Europe falling into a technical double dip recession but most are confident a recovery is underway. Markets worked better in the afternoon but sold down into the close.
Barclays -7% despite announcing Q1 beat forecasts but largely due to provision write backs which saw the bank selling off
BNP Paribas -0.8% despite beating forecasts in Q1 It posted a net income of 1.8 billion euros versus the 1.2 billion euros estimated by analysts. AstraZeneca +4.3% after it said on Friday its coronavirus vaccine added $275 million in sales in the first quarter.
Nestle SA agreed to buy vitamin maker Bountiful Co for US$5.75 billion, becoming a world leader in the field of minerals and supplements, as the COVID-19 pandemic boosts demand for pills. KKR & Co and Carlyle are selling the company for 16.8 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Nestle said it expects the purchase to close in the second half and weigh on profitability this year. Nestle chief executive officer Mark Schneider dove into the field of vitamins and supplements in his first year as CEO in 2017 with the US$2.3 billion acquisition of Atrium Innovations Inc.
Credit Suisse’s new chair António Horta-Osório has promised an urgent review of risk management, strategy and culture at the bank. He told investors yesterday that the problems at the Swiss bank were more serious than anything he had experienced in his career. -VE news but +VE outlook.
Flash Core Inflation Rate Apr +0.8% YoY vs +0.9% Mar (F/cast was +1%)
Flash Inflation Rate Apr +1.6% YoY vs +1.3% Mar (F/cast was +1.5%)
Flash Inflation Rate Apr +0.6% MoM vs +0.9% Mar (F/cast was +0.5%)
Flash GDP Growth Rate Q1 -0.6% QoQ vs -0.7% Q4 (F/cast was -1%)
Flash GDP Growth Rate Q1 -1.8% YoY vs -4.9% Q4 (F/cast was -2%)
Unemployment Rate Mar 8.1% vs 8.2% Feb revised (F/cast was +8.4%)
GDP Growth Rate Flash Q1 -1.7% QoQ vs +0.5% Q4 revised (F/cast was -1.4%)
GDP Growth Rate Flash Q1 -3% YoY vs -3.3% Q4 revised (F/cast was -2.9%)
GDP Growth Rate Prelim Q1 +0.4% QoQ vs -1.4% Q4 (F/cast was -0.3%) Household Consumption Mar -1.1% MoM vs +0.3% Feb revised (F/cast was +0.3%)
Inflation Rate Prelim Apr +1.3% YoY vs +1.1% Mar (F/cast was +1.4%)
Inflation Rate Prelim Apr +0.2% vs +0.6% Mar (F/cast was +0.3%)
PPI Mar +1% vs +0.9% Feb revised (F/cast was +0.3%)
Nationwide Housing Prices Apr +7.1% YoY vs +5.7% Mar (F/cast was +4.9%)
Nationwide Housing Prices Apr +2.1% MoM vs -0.3% Mar (F/cast was +0.7%)
EUROZONE Manufacturing PMI
GERMANY Retail Sales, Manufacturing PMI
FRANCE Manufacturing PMI, New Car Registrations,
UK No data due Market closed

JAPAN Market closed Constitution Memorial Day
Yen closed at 109.27
No data due but Friday data showed Japanese crude import data; showed a 25% YoY drop in March.
Tokyo reported 698 new covid cases (-61 WoW) Osaka reported 1,043 the fourth day above1,000 -VE
Nippon Yusen (9101.T) subsidiary NYK Cruises Co said on Friday that its luxury cruise ship "Asuka II" was returning to port after a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus.  The ship's 295 passengers and 425 crew members will reach Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, around Saturday noon, an NYK Cruises spokeswoman said. -VE
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake, which measured a strong 5 on the shindo (intensity) scale, was detected at a depth of 60 kilometers off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday at 10:27 a.m. The Meteorological Agency said there was no tsunami threat.
The cabinet said on Friday it would spend 500 billion yen ($4.59 billion) from emergency reserves to support pandemic-hit businesses. The money will be drawn from 5 trillion yen in coronavirus-related reserve funds that the government has allocated as part of its budget for the current fiscal year. +VE
Japan's average job availability ratio in fiscal 2020 posted the largest decline in nearly half a century, with the unemployment rate up for the first time in 11 years, reflecting the serious impact of the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Friday.
Japan will aim to strengthen regional financial cooperation with China, South Korea and ASEAN countries on May 3 when their financial leaders meet on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank's annual meetings, Finance Minister Taro Aso said. +VE
Panasonic Corp. is making the final arrangements for a business tie-up with Chinese consumer appliance firm TCL Electronics. Panasonic aims to reach an agreement with TCL by the end of May to start commissioning the production of small and midsize TVs by as early as fiscal 2021.
ANA Holdings Inc (9202.T), on Friday forecast a return to profit this business year, bouncing back from a record loss on expectations air travel demand will rebound as vaccines contain the coronavirus."Based on data from countries where vaccination has progressed, it appears that the spread of COVID-19 can be contained," ANA said in its earnings release.  For the 12 months to March 2022, ANA forecast operating profit of 28 billion yen ($257.40 million) after a 464.7 billion yen loss in the last business year. That outlook compares with an average estimated loss of 69.4 billion yen based on forecasts from 10 analysts, Refinitiv data showed. +VE
Oriental Land Co., which operates Tokyo Disney Resort, has fallen into the red for the first time since the company went public in 1996, as attendance plunged about 70% in fiscal 2020 from a year earlier. Tokyo Disney Resort comprises Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and adjacent hotels.  -VE

Expect markets to open lower, short selling resumes trade data out Saturday was weaker than expected.  Markets will be closed Wednesday.
Data out Saturday 
Balance of Trade Apr 40.39b vs 4.13b Mar revised (F/cast was 4.3b)
Exports Apr +41.1% vs +16.6% Mar revised (consensus was +44%)
Imports Apr +33.9% vs +18.8% Mar (consensus was +31.2%)
Due Monday after market open
Manufacturing PMI Apr (Mar was 55.3 F/cast is 55)
KDCA reported 661new covid cases Friday (vs 679 Thursday)
South Korea has decided to extend the current social distancing measures and the ban on gatherings of more than five people for another three weeks.   Currently, Level 2 is in place in Seoul and surrounding regions, and Level 1.5 in other parts of the country.
President Moon Jae-in will visit the White House on May 21 for talks with U.S. President Biden, highlighting the "ironclad alliance" between the two countries, the White House said on Thursday.
Hundreds of South Korean fishermen across the country held protests on Friday calling on Japan to reverse its decision to release contaminated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.  About 800 fishermen participated in rallies at ports in nine cities, according to South Korea’s National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives.
n activist group in South Korea said on Friday it had released balloons into North Korea carrying dollar bills and leaflets denouncing the government in Pyongyang, defying a recently imposed law banning such releases.
Memory chip prices are rising sharply amid a global semiconductor shortage, industry data showed Friday, boding well for South Korean chipmakers that dominate the sector.The contract price of 8-gigabit DDR4 DRAM, which is widely used in personal computers, reached $3.80 for this month, up 26.67 percent from the previous month, according to TrendForce. It marks the largest monthly increase since January 2017  +VE and good cross read to TSMC etc.
Sales of coronavirus self-test kits that offer results in 30 minutes began on Friday at pharmacies nationwide.  Hanmi Pharmaceutical started distributing bio-diagnostic firm SD Biosensor’s at-home test kits nationwide through its affiliate, Online Pharm, which specializes in pharmacy sales and distribution.  It will also be available on its website ( for ordinary customers. +VE
The number of 5G users in South Korea stood at over 14 million last month, two years after the networks first went live in the country, data showed Friday, as the country pushes to accelerate adoption of the latest generation networks.  Network quality issues, however, have dented user migration, with some angry 5G users preparing a lawsuit against the country's three major telecom operators to seek compensation for poor connection and disappointing speeds.  Overall slight +VE
Posco has set up a new entity in Europe and will launch another one in Korea to recycle LG Energy Solution’s electric vehicle batteries, according to industry officials. +VE
Police raided the headquarters of a Namyang Dairy Products on Friday as part of a probe into allegations that it exaggerated anti-coronavirus effects of its yogurt products. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it had been conducting searches at the headquarters and five other facilities -VE
Unionized workers at Renault Samsung Motors Corp. held a strike at the company's sole domestic plant on Friday to demand a wage hike for the year of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the union said. The union demanded an increase of 71,687 won (US$64) in monthly basic pay and a bonus of 7 million won per worker.  But the company proposed a wage freeze and a bonus of 3 million won.  In Q1 Renault sales were -22% YoY.
Lotte Engineering & Construction Co. said Friday that its joint venture has won a $146.9 million ($110.7 million) deal to build a transport hub in Singapore in the first entry into the city state.
Nonfungible tokens, widely known as NFTs, will survive a second wave and, even more, thrive as the public increasingly embraces this digital asset that has become more understandable and tangible, advocates said.   Gathering for a panel session held by accelerator SparkLabs, industry experts from the US and Korea said Thursday that, unlike in 2017, there are more use cases of NFTs and people adopting their use. +VE.  Also it noted Blockchain technology -- not just the cryptocurrencies that rely on it -- is becoming mainstream, as evidenced in the recent market debut of US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and nonfungible tokens gaining popularity, said advocates of digital assets on Thursday.
Lee Jae-yong, the eldest son of the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, officially became the leader of the Samsung empire by inheriting 50 percent of his father’s stake in Samsung Life Insurance, the company’s regulatory filing showed Friday.

Expect market to open slightly higher; strong GDP growth data to after market Friday and chip prices rising +VE for TSMC, UMC and others
Data due 
Manufacturing PMI Apr (Mar was 60.8, f/cast is 61)
Data out 
Friday after market
GDP Growth Rate for Q1Adv 8.16% vs +5.09% Q4 revised (F/cast was +4.5%)
The fastest growth since the Q3 2010, bolstered by a jump in net external demand, as exports surged 19.57% (vs 5.67% in Q4), amid strong foreign demand for parts of electronic products and information, communication and audio-video products, while imports jumped 14.63% (vs -2.9%). Also, gross capital formation (8.29% vs -0.95%) and private spending (2.08% vs -1.07%) made solid rebounds, while government spending eased slightly (4.32% vs 4.37%)
CENTRAL BANK MEETING minutes showed one director said that a survey on consumer finances should encompass household data so the bank could better understand their state.  Several central bank board members warned about inflation risks and called for the issue to be closely monitored, while they supported a hold on rates.
The Ministry of Labor has sent an official notice to several online job banks, saying that it is stepping up the enforcement of laws that prohibit them from helping Chinese employers recruit employees in Taiwan by placing job ads on their platforms.
Delta Electronics on Thursday forecast strong revenue growth for the second and third quarters of this year, citing bullish demand. “Looking at demand, we can expect quarter-on-quarter growth in the second and third quarters,” Delta chairman Yancy Hai  told investors. The second quarter is “looking good,” Hai said. He made the comments after Delta reported record net profit of NT$6.58 billion (US$235.42 million) for the first quarter, or earnings per share of NT$2.53. Consolidated sales jumped 30.16 percent to NT$72.49 billion last quarter from a year earlier, a decline of 7.64 percent from NT$78.5 billion in the fourth quarter last year. +VE
Lite-On Technology on Thursday reported a record quarterly net profit of NT$4.26 billion (US$152.42 million) in the quarter ended March 31, +171% YoY from NT$1.57 billion driven by stable customer demand. Earnings per share rose to NT$1.83. Revenue expanded 26 percent year-on-year to NT$37.72 billion last quarter.  The company attributed the record quarter to stable growth of optoelectronics, automotive electronics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence of things (AIoT), notebook, PC and gaming products. Gross margin climbed to 17.8 percent last quarter from 14.5 percent in the same period last year, the best performance since the first quarter of 2015, company data showed. The company attributed the improvement to “product mix optimization” and “efficiency improvement.” +VE
Fubon Financial Holding Co’s board of directors on Thursday approved a proposal to distribute a record cash dividend of NT$3 per share, topping proposals by local peers, data showed. The previous time Fubon paid at least a NT$3 cash dividend was in 2015. +VE

Market closed  re-opens Wednesday 
No data due
China has fallen short on its commitments to protect American intellectual property in the 'Phase 1' U.S.-China trade deal signed last year, the Biden administration's trade office said on Friday. The U.S. Trade Representative's "Special 301" report on intellectual property said that China had made amended its Patent Law, Copyright Law and Criminal Law last year and published several draft regulatory measures on IP. "However, these steps toward reform require effective implementation and fall short of the full range of fundamental changes needed to improve the IP landscape in China," USTR said. -VE
No discussions have been scheduled between the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, despite a stipulation in the
phase one trade deal – signed in January last year – that they take place every six months.
The last time the two sides talked was in August.  US exports to China picked up in the first quarter – a rare bright spot for US trade – but Chinese purchases from the United States continued to fall short of the targets set in the deal.-VE
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday the United States does not consider China’s cooperation on climate change a favor, and that it was unclear if Beijing would fully follow through on its commitments to reduce emissions.  
The European Union aims to cut its dependency on Chinese and other foreign suppliers in six strategic areas including raw materials, pharmaceutical ingredients and semiconductors, under an industrial action plan to be announced next week.  A draft seen by Reuters outlined the urgency of the task ahead, citing Europe's reliance on China for about half of 137 products used in sensitive ecosystems, mainly raw materials and pharmaceuticals and other products key to the bloc's green and digital goals.  -VE
China has ramped up a crackdown on financial scams, from cryptocurrency swindles to bogus patriotic fundraising that capitalizes on the coming 100th birthday of the ruling Communist Party, as new anti-fraud rules take effect on Saturday. In recent years, China has shut roughly 6,000 peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms in a purge of an industry that still owed victimized investors over $100 billion as of last August.  But financial frauds are mutating in their complexity and widening, according to China's banking regulator, which last week called for a tougher crackdowns Last year, China busted over 7,500 financial scams, according to the regulator, up 27% from the previous year. The clampdown on swindlers comes as rules combating illegal fundraising come into force on May 1, putting the onus on local officials to kill off investment scams at an early stage, said a local financial regulator who attended several mobilization conferences this week. "Previously, you asked victims to go to court. Now, victims can bring officials to court for negligence of duty," said the official, who is not authorized to speak to the media and declined to be identified.  +VE
Huawei Technologies is in talks to take control of a small domestic automaker’s electric vehicle unit, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, a move that would be a strategic shift for the world’s largest telecom equipment maker.  A company spokesman denied such a step, however.  Huawei, which has been battered by U.S. sanctions, is in talks with Chongqing Sokon (601127.SS) to acquire a controlling stake in the latter's Chongqing Jinkang New Energy Automobile, said the sources. The move will allow Huawei (HWT.UL) to make intelligent cars bearing its own nameplate, they added. Jinkang counts U.S. EV brand Seres, formerly known as SF Motors, as its main asset. Slight +VE if confirmed.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), to expand production at its plant in Nanjing makes sense amid a global chip shortage, it has nonetheless stirred cross-strait tensions. TSMC plans to spend US$2.87 billion to expand production at the plant which produces 28-nm node chips.  Annoying officals is that it lags behind TSMC’s most advanced plants by at least two generations.  They want an update but TSMC says  “The expansion of our existing site is the quickest solution to provide additional capacity to our global customers, including automotive chip makers,” said the Taiwan-based company in a statement.  It illustrates the issues that China has in trying to advance its domestic chip development.  It is not just the US that is restricting its advancement but companies themselves fear technology theft.
China makes ‘world’s largest satellite image database’ to train AI better
New FAIR1M database is tens or hundreds of times larger than previous data sets, according to Chinese Academy of Sciences.  The database of 15,000 high-definition images with 1 million labelled ‘scenes’ can aid AI’s accuracy, such as enabling it to identify not only a plane but its model when identifying objects from space.  The fine-grained object recognition in the high-resolution remote sensing imagery (FAIR1M) database is tens or even hundreds of times larger than similar data sets used in other countries, it said.

ADR’s  indicate -91pts @ 28,837 with weakness in Chinese Financials and E-Commerce names especially; downside to be exacerbated by initial margin calls after Friday’s 578pts fall and light volumes with China, Japan and UK Closed. Earnings largely complete so expect more news flows and analyst updates.
Data due after market
GDP Growth Rate
Short Selling Friday 15%  vs 17.4% Thursday
Top Shorts
Haidilao (6862) 41%, Ali Health (241) 36%, Wharf REIC (1997) 36%, Sunny Optical (2382) 33%, CK Asset (1113) 31%, Sino BioPharm (1177) 30%, Bank Of China (3988) 30%, BOCOM (3328) 27%, Bud Apac (1876) 26% (reports 5 May), Galaxy Ent (27) 24%

HSBC Holdings global banking unit will raise fixed pay for junior investment bankers in key hubs and hire more of them to share the workload. Slight +VE
HKMA Deputy Chief Executive Arthur Yuen reinstated that the local bank loan quality is still relatively healthy compared to international banks, although it is unpredictable as to whether the loan quality would maintain or turn better in the next few quarters as the timing of normalization of cross-border economic activities remains unknown amid unstable epidemic.  According to preliminary data, the loan ratio of specific categories in the first quarter of Hong Kong remained stable and did not deteriorate, indicating the bank's risk management is well in place, said Yuen.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan told reporters that the double mutant strain had been diagnosed in a 39-year-old Filipino domestic helper.  Accordingly, all foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong will have to take compulsory COVID-19 tests by 9 May as the double variant is more transmissible than older strains, she added. Equally, Labour and Welfare Bureau will ask FDHs applying for employment visas or visa renewal to receive vaccine shots recognized by Hong Kong, said Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong.
SWIRE PROPERTIES (01972.HK) announced the launch of a featured three-room unit of EIGHT STAR STREET, in salable area of 913 sq. ft., which will be open for tender from 4 May to 15 June.  The indicative price is $43.688 million, or $47,900/sq. ft..
Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation announced RMB500,000 in penalty on TENCENT (00700.HK) and such other enterprises under the antitrust regulation.
Centa-City Leading Index (CCL) last tracked at 183.16, up 1.65% weekly. The figure busted above the 2020 peak and hit an 84-week high, reflecting market conditions for the first week following Easter holiday.  Centaline Property Research, noted an expanding home price uptick amid homebuyers' enthusiasm during the long holiday. They believed CCL will track a wider volatility going ahead, nearing the historical high set in June 2019 (i.e. 190.48).

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