News Headline Summary

ASIA-PACIFIC MID SESSION UPDATE 20/02/13

Asian indices began the trading day with a positive tone, benefiting from risk on sentiment from the EU & US caused by a 34-month high ZEW survey which pushed EU markets higher and the US rallies where the Dow Jones reached a 5-year high and closed above 14,000. The Nikkei 225 opened higher by more than 100 points and briefly breached the 11,500 level to carve out a fresh high, supported by all 10 sectors in the green. The ASX 200 surpassed the 5,100 mark in early trade and reached a new multi-year high last seen in August 2008. The KOSPI is the best performing index and is on course for its longest winning streak since October 2011.

In the FX markets, the positive ZEW release supported the EUR against major currencies. EUR/USD tripped stops at yesterday’s high to trade above the 1.34 handle. JPY was instantly weakened by a Merchandise Trade Balance record deficit of JPY -1629.4bln vs. Exp. JPY -1379.6bln. However, JPY weakness was brief and USD/JPY moved lower to pare its earlier gains before the morning break in Japan. NZD weakened after RBNZ’s Wheeler said the central bank is ready to intervene if circumstances are right and the NZD is overvalued.

Looking forward, Japanese All Industry Index is scheduled for release at 0430GMT/2230CST and BoJ candidate Iwata is due to speak at 0600GMT/0000CST.

As of 0249GMT:
ASX200 (+0.32%), Nikkei 225 (+0.69%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.30%), Hang Seng (+0.14%), KOSPI (+1.25 %)

Print 02:50, 20 Feb 2013 - Asian News - Source: RANsquawk