Dec 25 Asian Macro Initial Thoughts Japan, Taiwan, China & Thailand open


25 Dec

Happy Christmas

Markets Closed Australia, New Zealand, S Korea, Singapore, Philippine, Indonesia, Malaysia.

Asian Futures Nikkei Futures +125pts after good employment data and Brexit deal although Tokyo CPI missed and covid cases hit a new high.  Expect Taiwan to open higher with good demand for Tech especially chip stocks.  China to open flat/lower concerns about the EU/China traded deal and worries about more action from Trump.

DOW +0.23%, NDX +0.26%, S&P +0.35%, Russel 2K -0.16% quiet trading in a shortened session. Alibaba -13% on news its being probed by the Chinese regulator and PBoC.  Republicans blocked the Democrats’ attempt to pass $2,000 direct payments putting the fate of the relief package in doubt in the short term but Biden could sign it in 27 days time.
CDC said just over 1million vaccine shorts had been administered as of Wednesday less than the 19m originally forecast.
Banks JPMorgan Chase -0.44%, Citigroup -0.35% and Wells Fargo -1.7%, AMEX +0.34%
Work from home 
names: Facebook -0.3%, Apple +0.8%, Amazon -0.4%, Netflix -0.1%,  Disney +0.1%, Zoom Video -2.3%, Alphabet +0.3% and Microsoft +0.8%,
Tech 
NXP +0.3%, Nvidia -0.1%, Micron +0.9%, AMD +0.3%, Skyworks +0.3%
Re-opening stocks 
Boeing -1.2%, Caterpillar +0.6%, Simon Property +0.9%, Kohl’s -2%, Nordstrom -1.8%, Gap -1.3%, United Airlines -1.9%, Carnival -0.5%, Wynn Resorts -0.8%, Chevron -0.4%, Exxon Mobil -0.4%.
Lock down names 
Campbell Soup +0.9% General Mills +0.2%, JM Smucker +0.8%
DATA
USD was flat vs Yen & weaker vs Euro. Bitcoin +2.6% @ 23,585.00 (It will be interesting to see if Bitcoin sees its usual sell off after Christmas), VIX -7.6% @ 21.53, US T10 @ 0.926%
OIL Brent +0.2%, WTI +0.37% on US inventory draw number from after market Wednesday and Brexit hopes.
Gold +0.2%, Silver +0.1%, Copper +0.4%
AHEAD Market closed Friday, re-opens Monday Dallas Fed Manufacturing

DAX was closed, CAC -0.1%, FTSE +0.1%  opened slightly higher both traded sideways; FTSE in the green most of the day but the CAC dropped into the red from mid morning and stayed there. Trading was choppy in the shortened session. Sentiment +VE on the expectation of announcement that a Brexit deal has been agreed. The deal was announced after market.  Sterling rallied and UK Banks +VE ahead of the announcement.
AHEAD
Eurozone No data due
GERMANY Market Closed Re-opens Monday; No data due
FRANCE Market Closed Re-opens Monday Unemployment Benefit Claims and Jobseekers
UK Market Closed will be closed Monday; re-opens Tuesday 29 Dec

JAPAN Nikkei futures +125pts on good jobs data and the Brexit news but upside could be limited as Tokyo CPI missed  Other data to come. Yen currently 103.68
Data out
Unemployment Nov 2.9% vs 3.1% Oct (F/cast was 3.2%), Jobs/Applications ratio Nov 1.06 vs 1.04 Oct (F/cast was 1.05) Tokyo CPI Dec -1.3% YoY vs -0.7% Nov (F/cast -0.7%)
Due pre market Retail Sales F/cast +2% YoY or -2.6% MoM).
Later Housing Starts (F/cast -4%) and Construction orders (F/cast +2%).
Tokyo announced 888 new covid cases a new high. Adjoining prefectures also saw new record highs with 495 cases reported in Kanagawa, 251 in Saitama and 234 in Chiba. The national total was 3,737  Supermarket and restaurants to have shortened opening hours on New Years holiday.
Govt to set out  "green growth strategy” expect renewable to rally, autos to be mixed on the phase out date for petrol cars and investors will watch for other beneficiaries and losers.
Former PM Abe apologies for political funding breaches and said he was unaware of what his office had done.
Japan sets whacking limit at 383 the same as 2020 but likely to raise international rebuke.
Japan Today paper has an article on the growing amount of second hand kitchen equipment as more restaurants close. -VE
Tokyo Olympic officials said Thursday they have reached a "basic agreement" with all 68 domestic sponsors to extend their contracts into next year to support the postponed Games. Slight +VE but growing concerns about holding the Olympics with many thinking the money could be better spent.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea during peak periods will increase by up to 500 yen starting from next March, operator Oriental Land Co said. The new variable pricing, which will take effect from March 20, aims to encourage a more even distribution of guests throughout the year

SOUTH KOREA Markets closed re-opens Monday. Kospi closed above 2,800 Thursday a new all time high with increased Institutional and foreign buying; main driver was Semiconductor chips (Samsung was +5.3%, Hynix +1.7% and DB HiTEk +7.1% Kosdaq chip related names Dongjin Semichem +2.9% and Wonik IPS +1.2%)
No data due
Government has signed deals with Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen to import coronavirus vaccines to cover up to 16 million people, as it grapples with the third wave of the pandemic, the prime minister said on Thursday.The KDCA reported 985 new coronavirus cases as of Wednesday midnight, bringing the nation’s tally to 53,533, with 756 deaths.
BoK on Thursday raised alert about escalating risks to the financial system, pointing out household and corporate loans that have continued to surge in the wake of a protracted economic slump.
SK Innovation said Thursday it will finance 1.09 trillion won ($986 million) to its battery manufacturing plants in Georgia through green bonds.  It said it will guarantee the bonds to be issued by its US subsidiary SK Battery America in January next year. +VE
LG Chem has recently purchased a series of new drug technologies from South Korean bio companies, as part of an effort to seek a new growth engine after it split-off of its battery business.  The company has signed two technology transfer agreements with local bio firms Medipost and ICM this month, the company said Thursday, with an aim to introduce two global new drugs within 10 years.
SK Telecom said Thursday it has partnered with Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) to launch the country's first 5G edge cloud service. +VE

TAIWAN Expect market to open higher with Semiconductors in focus. Good unemployment data and the Brexit deal should also help sentiment.
No data due but after market Thursday
Unemployment Nov +3.77% vs 3.77% Oct (F/cast was +3.8%). An 8 month low and Labour force particaption rate was steady at 59.1%
M2 Money Supply Nov +7.6% YoY vs 7.05% Oct (F/cast was +6.5%)
176 people who came in close contact with Taiwan’s COVID-19 case No. 771 have tested negative for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, rebutting rumors about possible activity history with links to the nation’s first domestic case of the novel coronavirus since April.
Lawmakers in the US Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced companion resolutions calling on US president-elect Joe Biden to enter a free-trade agreement with Taiwan — a move welcomed by Taipei.
Fubon Financial Holding Co’s  plan to acquire Jih Sun Financial Holding Co through an unsolicited tender offer would not weaken their credit profiles, and could help both to improve and diversify their income sources, Fitch and Moody’s said. +VE
HTC Corp yesterday said that the company is planning to roll out more 5G mobile phones and virtual-reality (VR) devices next year.  “Prepare to be amazed,” CEO Wang told reporters, referring to the upcoming VR product releases. HTC launched its first 5G smartphone, code-named HTC U20 5G, in September, giving a boost to its revenue. +VE for sentiment but it ha disappointed in the past.VIA Technologies subsidiary VIA Labs Inc yesterday launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The stock surged 60.12 percent to close at NT$269, compared with its listing price of NT$168. VIA Labs designs controllers used in USB and USB Type-C products and is run by HTC’s CEO’s husband. Investors will watch if the couple can re-create their earlier success.

CHINA Expect market to open lower with concerns over the Alibaba probe and the trade deal with the EU. Still concerns about more potential actions from Trump.
No data due but Industrial Profits data due Sunday.
Regrading the investigation into Alibaba CCTV Finance reported that Setting rules is not a means to stifle the growth of platform economy. Instead, it aims for a better and healthier platform economy development. Only by fixing good rules could the platform economy go a long way steadily. Based on preliminary information, BABA-SW (09988.HK) and other platform companies have responded positively and actively.
Turkey says China's Sinovac COVID vaccine 91.25% effective in late trials according to interim data; saying 26 of the 29 people who were infected during the trial were given placebos, adding the trial would continue until 40 people become infected. Turkish researchers said on Thursday no major side-effects were seen during their trial, apart from one person who had an allergic reaction. Common adverse effects caused by the vaccine were fever, mild pain and slight fatigue, they said. +VE although many want to see more details regarding the data.
China will suspend direct flights to and from Britain indefinitely over fears of a new strain of the coronavirus, Wang Wenbin, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
Beijing on Thursday issued a series of coronavirus-related advisories ahead of the peak travel season from New Year’s Day to the Chinese Lunar New Year in February, but it stopped short of imposing draconian restrictions. The city government appealed to residents to stay put in Beijing during the holiday season, emphasizing at a news conference that government officials and state-owned enterprise employees should take the lead.
China insists investment deal talks with EU going smoothly, dismisses nuclear energy report.  Foreign ministry spokesman says it is ‘fake news’ to suggest Beijing has made a late demand for access to European energy market.  The broader press reports suggests that the Foreign ministry statement is for domestic consumption since the deal is seen as a key one for Beijing. -VE      SCMP has an article
China’s fumble: why Xi Jinping dropped the ball after Donald Trump’s US left the global stage  notes that Xi welcomed the situation at Davos, but squandered China’s opportunity to improve its global standing, experts say. In a survey of 14 industrialised countries, 73% of their populations regard Beijing unfavourably, China’s worst score ever.
Australia announced a new trade minister Dan Tehan it will be interesting to see if that makes any difference in the trade dispute. I doubt it.

HONG KONG  ADR’s -130pts  Market Closed re-opens Monday. Only ADR’s in the green were HSBC, Sinopec, AIA and Xiaomi
No data due
SHORT SELLING Thursday 13.3% vs 12% Wednesday 
Top Shorts  Hengan (1044) 48%, CLP (2) 36%, BoC (3988) 33%, Sinopec (386) 32%, Anta (2020) 32%, Country Garden (2007) 28%, Hang Seng Bank (11) 27%,  Bank Comm (3328) 26%, Bud Apac (1876) 25%, Henderson Land (12) 25%.
BUYBACKS 

Li Ka Shing Foundation Limited acquired a total of 776,500 shares in CK ASSET (01113.HK) at the average price of HK$40.6770, HK$39.9804, HK$38.8302 and HK$38.9406 per share on 18 December, 21 December, 22 December and 23 December 2020 respectively. As a result, the deemed interests of Li Ka-shing and Victor T K Li in CK Asset increased from 35.86% to 35.89%, and from 35.93% to 35.95%, respectively.
WATCH
CCL last printed at 175.88, -0.38% WoW. In two-week terms, the three major Centaline property indexes dropped altogether. CCL grossed -1.05%; CCL Mass -1.34% CCL (small-to-medium flats) -1.31%. For the next few weeks, the housing prices were projected to stay volatile said Centaline Property. In absence of downtrend or uptrend signals, the price trend is still contingent on observation.
Sinovac Biotech (SVA.US)  will delay the late-stage test result of its COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, reported WSJ. David Hui, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at CUHK, said the delay meant Sinovac's vaccine may not be available in Hong Kong as scheduled for January 2021. The vaccine may arrive as early as February 2021. It also adds to concerns about the openness and effectiveness of the vaccines.
China's CDE announced that Sinopharm's sales application of coronavirus vaccines (Vero cells) has been approved. Subsequently, SINOPHARM(CNCM LTD) (600511.SH) rallied on the news.
KERRY LOG NET (00636.HK)  said that the Proposed Spin-off of KERRY EXPRESS THAILAND (KETH) is complete and the KETH shares have been listed on the SET since 24 December 2020.  It is expected that the Special Dividend of 13.8 cents per share will be paid in cash on or around 31 December to shareholders whose names appear on the registers of members at the close of business on 22 December.

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