Asian equities trade mixed ahead of key macro events; Short interest rates move higher

Singapore’s Noble Group declines over 18% ahead of expected debt default on Tuesday

Hong Kong-listed CK Hutchison Holdings declines as Chairman Li Ka-Shing will retire

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China nominates new officials including Finance Minister and PBoC Gov

China Feb New Home Prices decline in major cities; Property shares decline in China and HK

China traded Iron Ore declines over 3% in the face of steel demand concerns

AUD/JPY continues to track decline in Nikkei

Australia 3-month bank bill rate fixed higher for 13th straight session; tracks rise in other short rates

BoJ official noted need to distinguish normalization from monetary tightening (March 8-9th Policy Meeting Summary of Opinions)

BoJ JGB holdings hit fresh record high in Q4

Japan Feb Trade Balance below ests amid higher imports and decline in exports to China

US 2-year Treasury yield rises to highest since 2008 amid US data and focus on this week’s FOMC meeting and forecasts (March 20-21st)

US Treasury official clarifies remark regarding trade talks with China ahead of upcoming G20 (March 19-20th)

Australia/New Zealand

ASX 200 opened +0.3%; closed +0.2%

ASX 200 Energy Index +1.7%, REIT +1%, Resources +0.7%; Financials -0.2%

(NZ) NZIER: Raises 2017/18 GDP growth forecast to 2.9% v 2.7%; trims 2018/19 forecast to 3.1% v 3.2% prior

Looking ahead: RBA due to release minutes for March meeting on Tuesday

Australia Feb Employment data and Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) rate decision due on Thursday, March 22nd

China/Hong Kong

Hang Seng opens -0.4%, Shanghai Composite -0.2%

Hang Seng Materials Index -1.3%, Property/Construction -1%; Services +0.6%

Shanghai Property Index declines over 1%

(CN) China: Confirms current PBoC Dep Gov Yi Gang nominated as PBoC Gov

(CN) China: Nominates former Vice Fin Min Liu Kun as the new Finance Minister; President Xi’s Key Economic Adviser Liu He nominated as Vice Premier; Zhong Shan nominated as China Commerce Minister.

(CN) CHINA FEB PROPERTY PRICES M/M: RISE IN 44 OUT OF 70 CITIES V 52 PRIOR; Y/Y RISE IN 59 OUT OF 70 CITIES v 59 PRIOR

(CN) China Housing Min: Property market remains stable overall, overly fast property price trend ‘curbed’; to stick to property control measures

HNA Group said to be planning to sell $2.2B in properties across China – US financial press

(CN) PBoC sets yuan reference rate at 6.3320 v 6.3340 prior

(CN) China PBoC Open Market Operation (OMO): To inject CNY50B in 7 and 14-day reverse repos v skipped prior; Net injection: nil

USD/HKD: Hong Kong (HKD) hits new 33-year low

Japan

Nikkei 225 opened -0.6%: closed -0.9%

TOPIX Securities Index -1.8%, Electric Appliances -1.7%, Real Estate -1.6%, Iron & Steel -1%

Megabanks and Automakers trade generally lower

(JP) Bank of Japan (BoJ) Summary of Opinions for March 8-9th Policy Meeting: One member noted need to distinguish normalization from monetary tightening

(JP) Japan Feb Trade Balance: ¥3.4B v ¥89.1Be; Adjusted Trade Balance: -¥201.5B v -¥90.8Be; Exports to China -9.7% y/y

(JP) Support for PM Abe’s Cabinet declines amid Moritomo scandal – Japanese Press Polls

Korea

Kospi opened -0.1%

Hyundai Motor [005380.KR]: Declines over 4% amid reports US officials are probing certain airbag failure related deaths.

(KR) South Korea Finance Ministry sells KRW1.8T in 10-year bonds: avg yield 2.73%

North America

(US) US Treasury Official Malpass said there has been no decision on formal economy talks with China, says he was wrong to say the US ended formal economic dialogue with China – financial press (clarifies earlier comment) [Note: Malpass is originally said to have noted that the Treasury had discontinued the US China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue (CED)]

(US) Trade bodies said to ask the US government to halt planned tariffs against China – US financial press

CSRA Inc [CSRA]: CACI confirms $44/share cash and stock offer (~8% premium to prior close), above $40.75/share cash bid from General Dynamics

Apple [AAPL]: Said to develop displays to replace screens from Samsung; The company is said to have a facility in California which could be used to produce microled screens, which could weigh on suppliers such as Sharp and LG Display – US financial press [Reminder: In June of 2017, it was reported in the Japanese press that Apple was reportedly planning micro-LED displays for its upcoming wearables products]

Europe

(EU) ECB’s Weidmann (Germany): Personally thinks that the good economic developments would allow a rapid end to the bond purchases –financial press

(RU) Russia President Putin re-elected for another 6-year term ; received 76% of the vote with most of the ballots counted – Press

(RU) Russia Energy Min: Affirms pledge to see OPEC output cuts deal through to the end; Reiterates willing to prolong cuts if necessary.

Hammerson [HMSO.UK]: Klepierre said to make £5.0B offer – UK Press

Levels as of 01:00ET

Hang Seng +0.1%; Shanghai Composite +0.1%; Kospi -0.7%

Equity Futures: S&P500 -0.2%; Nasdaq100 -0.6%, Dax -0.2%; FTSE100 -0.1%

EUR 1.2264 to 1.2292 ; JPY 105.67 to 106.17; AUD 0.7687 to 0.7721 ;NZD 0.7198-0.7229

Feb Gold -0.1% at $1,311/oz; Feb Crude Oil -0.5% at $62.09/brl; Mar Copper -1.1% at $3.079/lb

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