Asian Market Update: China Vice Premier Xi Jinping resurfaces after 2-week absence; Greek PM continues to insist on 2-yr austerity extension


Economic Data

- (AU) AUSTRALIA AUG NEW MOTOR VEHICLE SALES M/M: +3.6% V -0.8% PRIOR; Y/Y: 6.4% V 5.0% PRIOR

- (SG) SINGAPORE AUG ELECTRONIC EXPORTS Y/Y: -11.0% V -1.2%E; NON-OIL DOMESTIC EXPORTS M/M: -9.1% V -1.0%E; Y/Y: -10.6% V -4.0%E

- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND AUG PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES INDEX: 50.0 V 52.4 PRIOR

- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND Q3 WESTPAC NZ CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: 102.5 V 99.9 PRIOR

- (KR) SOUTH KOREA AUG DEPARTMENT STORE SALES: -6.9% V -1.3% PRIOR; DISCOUNT STORE SALES: -3.3% V -8.2% PRIOR

- (UK) UK SEPT RIGHTMOVE HOUSE PRICES M/M: -0.6% V -2.4% PRIOR (3rd consecutive decline); Y/Y: 0.7% V 2.0% PRIOR


Markets Snapshot (as of 03:30GMT)

- Nikkei225 closed for holiday

- S&P/ASX +0.1%

- Kospi -0.4%

- Shanghai Composite -1.3%

- Hang Seng -0.1%

- Dec S&P500 -0.3% at 1,454

- Dec gold +0.2% $1,776/oz

- Oct Crude oil +0.2% at $99.18/brl


Notes/Observations

- Key equity indices in Asia have pared their gains as US S&P500 futures are modestly lower to open the new week of trade. Shanghai Composite is leading the decline with a 1.3% slide in the morning session as investors become increasingly concerned over re-emerging inflationary pressure keeping PBoC on hold for a more extended period. Housing related firms are particularly weak with the property sector falling over 3%, as reports of reintroduced real estate price controls in the city of Nanjing reinforce the govt commitment to stamp out speculative activity. Basic metals and commodity currencies are tracking the decline, as Dec copper fell back below $3.80/lb, down nearly 1% on the day, while AUD was the weakest among the majors against the greenback, falling nearly 40 pips below $1.0520.

- Chinese vice premier and the next presumed party leader Xi Jinping made his first appearance in 2 weeks, easing concerns over a disorderly political transition expected to take place next month. Foreign Ministry noted Xi will also attend the meeting of the ASEAN set to open this Friday, indicating any ailments that may have caused his mysterious disappearance were likely to be minor. Separately in China, hundreds of protesters marched in front of Japanese embassy in Beijing amid continued opposition against Japan govt purchase of disputed islands, as discontent spread to over 50 cities.

- Volatility was light in the currency markets with Tokyo closed for public holiday. Japanese yen firmed up at the open as USD/JPY fell below ¥78.20 before coming off the lows later in the day. EUR/USD traded in a 30 pip range, reaching a session of high of $1.3140. In Greece, PM Samaras continued to call for a 2-year extension as part of commitment to implement €11.7B austerity. German Fin Min surprisingly softened his stance on the recent ECB action, chastising Bundesbank head Weidmann for carrying on the public debate over the OMT program.


Speakers/Political/In the Papers

Europe

- (GR) Greece PM Samaras: Reiterates that Greece needs a 2-year extension in austerity terms; Determined to adopt €11.7B package to avoid leaving euro zone

- (ES) Spain PM Rajoy wants to delay as long as possible or avoid asking for assistance from Europe - Spanish press citing govt officials

- (FR) ECB's Noyer: France 2013 GDP may be "considerably below" 1%; Concerns from Germany regarding ECB bond purchases are excessive - French press

- (EU) German Fin Min Schaeuble said to be critical of Bundesbank head Weidmann over his opposition to ECB - German press

- (PT) Over 100K protesters marched in Lisbon in opposition of govt austerity measures

- (PT) Portugal Foreign Min: May need to reconsider austerity measures following latest protests - financial press

China

- (CN) Nanjing City said to have relaunched its price controls on the property market - financial press

- (CN) China Vice President Xi Jinping made his first public appearance since Sept 1st on Sat - Chinese press

- (CN) Obama administration to launch a China trade enforcement case with the WTO tomorrow - financial press

- (CN) China Industrial Bank chief economist Lu Zhengwei: QE3 in the US likely to increase inflation pressure in China - Chinese press

- (CN) China Commence Minister: Trade conditions facing more challenges - financial press

S Korea

- (KR) South Korea Gov't think tank (KDI) cuts 2012 GDP target to 2.5% from prior forecast of 3.6%

- (KR) Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov Kim: Latest Fed action requires the need to smooth cross-border capital flows - Korean press


Equities

- RIO: CEO: Met with China economic policy makers; China may not be able to recover in the short term - Australian press

- Fortescue FMG.AU: May announce that it has persuaded lenders to waive some of the covenants on its A$8.5B in debt - Australian press

- China Construction 939.HK: Chairman: Looking to spend as much as $15B to acquire all or a part of a large European bank - FT

- Honda HMC: To invest ¥30B to launch production of diesel vehicles in India - Nikkei News

- Canon CAJ: To halt production at 3 plants in China early this week - Nikkei News