Heading towards the halfway point of today’s session, a positive tone has spread across Asian equity classes with most indices holding onto gains following Alcoa, who kicked off earnings session with a reasonable Q4 report, beating analyst expectations on their sales that benefited from demand in China, which may bode well for the rest of earning season.
The Nikkei 225 now trades back in positive territory being led higher by the industrial sector. The Japanese index has pared its opening losses of 1%. USD/JPY has turned tail to now trade with gains after underperforming in the last two sessions. Regarding flows in USD/JPY, we have had market talk of a major US bank being the main buyer.
In terms of data, the disappointing Australian Retail Sales missed expectations at -0.1% vs. Exp. 0.3%; this saw an immediate weakening in AUD/USD with minimal reaction in the ASX 200. As a guide, several key pieces of economic data from China, including CPI, PPI, Retail Sales and Industrial Production are set for release in the following couple of days and considering the close economic relationship between Australia and China, the data could have knock on implications for the Australian market.
Looking ahead, there is not much in the way of market moving data scheduled on the calendar, but we are waiting for Chinese New Yuan loans which could be released today.
As of 0226 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.37%), Nikkei 225 (+0.51%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.14%), Hang Seng (+0.39%), KOSPI (+0.09%)
09 Jan 2013 - 02:28 - - Source: Newswires
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