Asia Market Update: Equity indices trade mixed after a similar session on Wall St.; China official Dec PMI data due on Fri.

General trend

– South Korea’s industrial production rebounded in Nov amid rise in auto output [similar trend was seen in Japan’s Nov IP data].

USD/JPY traded above ¥115 [first time since late Nov].

– US equity FUTs trade slightly lower after mixed Wall St. session.

– Nikkei 225 pared decline amid the rise in USD/JPY.

– Hang Seng and HK TECH indices rebounded; SenseTime and Chervon Holdings rise in HK debuts.

– Shanghai Composite ended morning trading near session highs (+0.8%).

– S&P ASX 200 traded generally flat.

– Samsung Biologics denied M&A speculation related to Biogen.

– China’s Commerce Ministry (MOFCOM) sometimes holds weekly news conferences on Thurs.

– Various markets will be closed for holiday on Fri (Japan and South Korea); Australia and Hong Kong to close early.

– South Korea expected to release Dec CPI data on Fri. (Dec 31st) – financial press.

Headlines/Economic data

Australia/New Zealand

ASX 200 opened flat.

HUM.AU Bank of Queensland said to be interested in humm – Aussie press (shares +7.8%).

– Bank of Queensland [BOQ.AU]: Follow up: said not pursuing transaction with humm.

– (AU) Australia PM Morrison: Omicron variant means country needs to reset the pandemic response; Have changed definition of close coronavirus contacts.

Japan

Nikkei 225 opened -0.4%.

– 8802.JP Announces JV with Capitaland Development, to invest CNY1.5B to develop a business park in China’s Suzhou New District.

USD/JPY tests above ¥115 (last tested in late Nov, which hadn’t previously happened since 2017).

– (JP) Nikkei Poll shows ~18% of companies plan to raise wages by 3.0% [PM Kishida target for wage growth].

Korea

Kospi opened +0.2%.

(KR) South Korea Nov Industrial Production M/M: 5.1% v 2.5%e (Highest since June 2020); Y/Y: 5.9% v 3.4%e.

– (KR) South Korea Nov Retail Sales M/M: -1.9% v 0.2% prior; Y/Y: 4.6% v 7.4% prior.

– (KR) South Korea Nov Cyclical Leading Index Change: -0.4 v -0.4 prior.

China/Hong Kong

Hang Seng opened +0.2%; Shanghai Composite opened flat.

– 3333.HK Reportedly owes $255M of interest on two dollar bonds and some bondholders have yet to receive coupons due Tuesday (Dec 28th) – press.

– DIDI Reports Q3 (CNY) -25.91 v nil y/y; Rev 42.7B v 43.4B y/y, board approves plans to list on Hong Kong Exchange.

(CN) Former China PBOC Official Sheng Songcheng: Calls for easing of macro policy as soon as possible to boost vitality of participants – China Daily.

– 6185.HK Mexico said to be cutting vaccine order by >50%, Mexico noting that it is clear that company will deliver far fewer vaccines than agreed upon – press.

– (CN) China PBOC sets Yuan reference rate: 6.3674 v 6.3735 prior.

– (CN) China PBOC Open Market Operation (OMO): Sells CNY100B in 7-day reverse repos v CNY200B prior; Net inject: CNY90B v CNY190B prior.

– 9898.HK Alibaba said to explore options for its Weibo stake with some state firms, including Shanghai Media Group – press.

– (CN) China Govt: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal will offset coronavirus negative impact on economy.

– (CN) China Finance Ministry official Wang Xiaolong said China will issue a record amount of Treasury bonds in 2022, will guide overall interest rates lower for the record amount of 2022 issuance – financial press.

– (CN) China Privately held refiners said to have receive a 109Mt import quota for crude.

– (CN) China Vice Commerce Min: Reiterates China will face an unprecedented degree of difficultly in 2022 in stabilizing foreign trade; Expects trade >20% higher at $6.0T in 2021.

– (CN) China President Xi to deliver New Year speech on Fri [Dec 31st] at 7pm local time – Xinhua.

North America

JNJ: Said that the co’s booster has cut omicron related hospitalizations in South Africa by up to 85% – US financial press.

BIIB Samsung Group reportedly in talks to acquire Biogen for over $40B – Korean press.

– INTC Hynix confirms to pay out ~$7.0B out of total $9.0B for acquisition of NAND flash unit after phase 1 deal completion.

TPGY TPG Pace Beneficial Finance and EVBox Group mutually agree to terminate business combination agreement.

– (US) Defense Sec Austin ordered group of warships to remain in Mediterranean Sea, amid growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine – NYP.

– (US) Sec of State Blinken calls on China to stop targeting Hong Kong journalists.

Europe/Middle East

– (SA) Saudi Arabia King: Oil market stability and balance is a pillar of Saudi energy policy, important that all producers comply with OPEC+ agreement, its essential to market stability.

– (RU) Follow Up: US President Biden and Russia President Putin to hold a phone call at 15:30ET.

– (TR) Turkey has increased deposit insurance limit to TRY200K.

Levels as of 00:20 ET

– Nikkei 225, -0.3%, ASX 200 flat , Hang Seng +0.2%; Shanghai Composite +0.8% ; Kospi -0.4%.

– Equity S&P500 Futures: flat; Nasdaq100 flat, Dax flat; FTSE100 -0.1%.

– EUR 1.1360-1.1332 ; JPY 115.06-114.93 ; AUD 0.7268-0.7244 ;NZD 0.6849-0.6826.

– Gold -0.3% at $1,800/oz; Crude Oil +0.3% at $76.79/brl; Copper -0.3% at $4.4025/lb.