Once again, Chinese HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for December has been the primary focus during the first half of today’s session. The figure climbed to 50.9, a 14-month high and the fifth straight monthly gain, which is supported by a strong sub-index of new orders. Consequently, Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite were substantially boosted by this positive reading. Both indices successfully spiked higher with the Hang Seng paring early losses and the Shanghai Composite piercing the 2100 level.
Over in Japan, USD/JPY has maintained its recent gains ahead of Japan’s December 16th election, where the LDP party with a pro-easing stance is projected to win a majority. The LDP in cooperation with New Komeito party could win more than 320 seats, which would be a two-thirds supermajority, allowing them to pass bills voted down by the upper house, dragging Japan out of political deadlock. And of note, the Japanese Tankan large manufacturing index came in lower than consensus, adding to general concerns regarding the health of the Japanese economy and increasing speculation that the Bank of Japan will ease in next meeting.
The Australian ASX is also in positive territory, being buoyed by Basic Materials sector on the back of China’s iron-ore import benchmark grade advancing for an 8th straight session, now above the 200DMA.
Looking forward, we have Japanese Industrial Production data due to be released on 0430GMT/2230GMT.
As of 0250 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.29%), Nikkei 225 (-0.09%), Shanghai Comp. (+2.60%), Hang Seng (+0.60%), KOSPI (-0.38%)
14 Dec 2012 - 04:54 - Forex Data - Source: RANsquawk
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