News Headline Summary

ASIA-PACIFIC MID-SESSION UPDATE - 19/12/12

As Asian markets head into the mid-point of the trading day, the major Asian indices are lifted on the back of fiscal cliff optimism as US House speaker Boehner said he is to be moving to ‘Plan B’ and Obama has also edged towards compromise, which has driven the negotiation to the right direction.

In Japan, Nikkei 225 held onto the 10,000 mark for the first time since April 4th with substantial volume. Participants now await the Bank of Japan’s rate decision tomorrow; the last of 2012 and the first following the election, where expectations are for the BoJ to continue easing. It is widely expected that an expansion in asset purchases will be announced, alongside an extension in the time frame over which purchases will be completed, given the current completion date of December 2013.

Elsewhere in China, supportive of the Shanghai and Hong Kong indices today was the news that China is expected to allow around 10 Qualified Foreign investorts (QFIIs) to trade stock index futures by the end of the year.

In the FX markets, a downward trend has been observed in AUD/USD after the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia warned that Australia could hit a growth gap next year if manufactures and service industries are slow to fill the hole left by mining investment. Furthermore, the weakness in commodity markets over the US session has underpinned the loss in local currency.

Looking forward, Japanese all industry activity index will hit the wires at 0430GMT/2230CST.

As of 0246 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.30 %), Nikkei 225 (+1.28%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.06%), Hang Seng (+0.72%)

19 Dec 2012 - 03:47 - Equities Bank Speaker - Source: RANsquawk

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