News Headline Summary

ASIA-PACIFIC MID-SESSION UPDATE - 15/02/13

Negative sentiment was prevalent during the first half of today’s session as the downbeat tone in Europe caused by the steepest drop in Eurozone GDP since Q1 2009, has rolled into the Asian equity markets. The ASX 200 trades flat, weighed by the Basic Materials sector. In individual stock news, SAI Global has been the worst performing so far, following a downgrade to neutral at Credit Suisse. The Nikkei 225 has experienced losses, disadvantaged by a strengthening JPY supported by comments from Japan’s Amari and safe haven flows during the EU and US sessions.

In the FX markets, JPY strengthened after Amari commented that the government has no target for the stock market, which conflicts with a previous report that Amari wanted the Nikkei to reach 13,000 by March and the Japanese government will continue its efforts to drive the Nikkei 225 stock average index to 13,000 points by the end of the fiscal year on March 31. JPY then weakened after the LDP’s Yamamoto commented that USD/JPY rate of 95-100 is appropriate and that currency devaluation spurs growth. The AUD weakened momentarily after the RBA’s Edwards says AUD is incredibly high. However, the weakness in AUD/USD was pared soon after to trade flat.

Looking forward, Japanese Industrial production is scheduled for release at 0430GMT/2230CST and the BoJ Monthly Economic Report is scheduled at 0500GMT/2300CST.

As of 0245GMT:

ASX200 (-0.01%), Nikkei 225 (-0.88%), Hang Seng (+0.04%), KOSPI (-0.02%)

Print 02:48, 15 Feb 2013 - Asian News - Source: RANsquawk