As we approach the mid-point of today’s trading session, there is a strong positive tone across major indices with the Nikkei 225 being the standout performer. The Nikkei 225 gapped up from yesterday’s close and has held on to substantial gains on the back of a weaker currency. The JPY, which weakened considerably throughout the EU and US sessions, was aided by comments from Japanese Deputy Economic Minister Nishimura, who said USD/JPY at 100 is no problem. Sony (+2.84%) has been one of the biggest gainers in the index today after Yomiuri reported the Co. may sell their lithium operations to NEC and Nissan.
In terms of data, Japanese CPI for December Y/Y slightly beat expectations at -0.1% vs. Exp. -0.2% (Prev. -0.2%) which confirms that Japan still has much to do to escape deflation and reach the Bank of Japan’s new 2% inflation target. Japan also released minutes from BoJ’s December meeting which was the central bank’s first rate decision under the new government. The most notable comments were that the economy is still weakening and the BoJ will continue with powerful easing.
The KOSPI is the laggard, weighed by 3 of its largest components which collectively contribute 25% to the index, all trading lower: Samsung (-1.54%), Hyundai Motors (-3.13%) and Kia Motors (-4.49%). Samsung posted a better than expected earnings report, however they did comment that they see the global smartphone market slowing in 2013.
Looking forward, Singapore Industrial Production is scheduled to be released at 0500GMT/2300CST.
As of 0301 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.44%), Nikkei 225 (+1.99%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.16%), Hang Seng (-0.25%), KOSPI (-1.18%)
24 Jan 2013 - 22:10 - Fixed Income Data - Source: RANsquawk
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