No definitive decision on Greece from the Euro zone finance ministers meeting as yet as the black coffee continues to flow in Brussels. We have however had the release of a document prepared for the ministers, which stated that there would be no haircut for Greek debt, resulting in some slight weakening in EUR/USD. However, the move was quickly pared as we still await an official announcement on the conclusion of their meeting with the EU and IMF members.
In Asia we have seen equity markets get off to a positive start with the Nikkei 225 once again being the out performer as an opposition LDP December 16th election win gets priced in with anticipation of more dovish monetary policy to come post election.
Supportive to the Nikkei 225 has been USD/JPY hitting a 7 month high, closing in on the 82.00 level, and subsequently fuelling the gains in exporter stocks with technology being one of the leading sectors. Most recently we have also seen the latest trade balance data in Japan for October which showed a larger deficit than analysts were expecting with exports posting their 5th straight month in decline printing at -6.5%. This comes as car exports to China fell 82.0% on year due to anti Japanese sentiment in China caused by the dispute over islands in the East China Sea.
Elsewhere the Heng Seng holds on to solid gains as Ping An Insurance has gained close to 1% on the session after HSBC contacted China Investment Corp. about the sale of their stake in the insurance company worth USD 9.28bln. Meanwhile in Australia the ASX 200 has failed to move into positive territory with David Jones, who reported a miss on their Q1 total sales pre-market, remaining the worst % performer in the index down 7% on the day.
In the energy complex WTI has retraced some its losses seen in the US session where oil had been buoyed by fears of continued supply disruptions in the Middle East as the Israel/Gaza conflict continues. Of note SocGen have issued their latest calls and say they see upside to the price of WTI in the coming months raising their 2013 WTI oil forecast to USD 97.00/BBL from USD 92.00/BBL.
Looking forward we anticipate a conclusion to the Euro zone meeting in Brussels and are looking out for any comments from the Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Chakrabarty scheduled for 0430GMT/2230CST.
As of 0252GMT:
ASX200 (-0.06%), Nikkei 225 (+1.02%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.10%), Hang Seng (+0.68%), KOSPI (+0.16%)
20 Nov 2012 - 21:52 - - Source: RANsquawk
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