Headlines/Economic Data

General Trend:

In weekly period, US-based Japan equity funds had $500M in outflows (largest outflow since July), says Lipper; Uncertainty related to government’s Moritomo scandal lingers

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AUD/JPY tracks declines in Japanese equities

BoJ Gov Kuroda may become longest serving Governor in history of BoJ, according to Japanese press

PBoC conducts second 1-year medium-term lending facility in March as quarter end approaches; skips daily open market operation (OMO)

Singapore Feb Non-oil exports sees largest y/y decline in almost 1.5 years; Exports to China -23.6% y/y

Next week’s US Fed meeting and rate projections in focus (Tuesday March 20 to Wednesday 21st)

G20 Meeting due to be held In Argentina on Monday-Tuesday (March 19-20th)

Australia/New Zealand

ASX 200 opened +0.4%; closed: +0.5%

ASX 200 Telecom Index +1%, Utilities +0.9%, REIT +0.9%, Resources +0.8%, Consumer Discretionary +0.7%; Financials -0.5%

Wesfarmers [WES.AU]: Gains over 5% after announcing planned spin-off of supermarket chain

(AU) RBA Assist Gov Debelle: Expects to see repricing of assets if rates continue to rise’; No initial comments on monetary policy

(AU) Australia sells A$500M v A$500M indicated in 2.75% Nov 2028 bonds, avg yield 2.7124% v 2.9052% prior, bid to cover: 4.50x v 4.50x prior

(NZ) New Zealand Feb Non-Resident Bond Holdings: 59.7% v 60.0% prior

(NZ) New Zealand Feb Business Manufacturing PMI: 53.4 v 54.4 prior

China/Hong Kong

Hang Seng opened -0.6%, Shanghai flat

Hang Seng Materials Index -1.2%, Energy -1.1%, Financials -0.3%; Utilities +0.7%

China Unicom [0762.HK] rises over 1% after reporting FY17 results

(CN) PBOC CONDUCTS 1-YEAR CNY327B MEDIUM TERM LENDING FACILITY (MLF) AT UNCHANGED INTEREST RATE OF 3.25%

(CN) China PBoC Open Market Operation (OMO): Skips OMO v CNY40B injected prior in 7 and 28-day reverse repos: Net injection: v CNY40B injection prior; For the week, the PBoC injected a net of CNY377.5B

(CN) PBOC sets yuan reference rate at 6.3340 v 6.3141 prior

(CN) China sells 30-year bonds: avg yield 4.22% v 4.26%e; bid to cover 2.56x

(HK) Hong Fin Sec Chan: Considering tax on vacant homes

(CN) China PBoC Q1 Survey: Entrepreneurs Confidence Index: 74.3% v 71.8% q/q

(CN) US Chamber of Commerce spokesperson: urges Trump administration to not impose tariffs against China; will hurt Americans and could lead to trade war

Alibaba [BABA]: Reportedly said to explore plan to list shares in China – press

Japan

Nikkei 225 opened +0.3%; closed -0.6%

TOPIX Electric Appliances Index -0.9%; Securities +0.3%

(JP) Japan Lower and Upper Houses of Diet approve BoJ Gov Kuroda to additional 5-year term; also approve Amamiya and Wakatabe as Dep Governors

(JP) Japan Jan Final Industrial Production M/M: -6.8% v -6.6% prelim; Y/Y: 2.5% v 2.7% prelim

Korea

Kospi opened +0.1%

(CN) China President Xi could send delegation to North Korea in late March – South Korean Press [**Reminder: North and South Korea are expected to hold their 3rd summit in late April at the border]

(KR) South Korea and US said to plan to announce military drill plans next week – South Korea Press

North America

US equity markets ended mixed, S&P 500 declined for 4th straight session (longest losing streak of 2018): Dow +0.5%, S&P500 -0.1%, Nasdaq -0.2%, Russell 2000 -0.5%

S&P500 Materials -1.3%

(US) Special Counsel Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization demanding documents about Russia – NYT

(US) JAN TOTAL NET TIC FLOWS: +$119.7B V -$122.5B PRIOR; NET LONG-TERM TIC FLOWS: $62.1B V $23.3B PRIOR; China Total holding of US Treasuries: $1.17T v $1.18T prior (six month low)

Monsanto [MON]: Bayer reportedly hits US regulatory hurdles on Monsanto antitrust approval; US regulators reportedly still have concerns that the merger would harm competition and are not satisfied with the proposed asset sales – press

Qualcomm [QCOM]: Rises over 4% in the afterhours. Former Qualcomm Chairman Jacobs said to seek funding for buyout of the company, says the FT

Europe

(UK) UK and EU officials agree to take part in ‘intensive talks’ to resolve Irish border issue – press

(EU) EU said to see ‘little chances’ for WTO suit versus steel tariffs announced by the US – German Press

NEX Group [NXG.UK]: Confirms deal talks with CME are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer for NEX will be made

Levels as of 01:00ET

Hang Seng flat; Shanghai Composite flat; Kospi -0.2%

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

EUR 1.2295-1.2314 ; JPY 105.83-106.39; AUD 0.7770-0.7804 ;NZD 0.7241-0.7282

Feb Gold -0.1% at $1,316/oz; Feb Crude Oil flat at $61.17/brl; Mar Copper -0.1% at $3.122/lb

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