General trend

- Asian markets were mostly flat, with the exception of the Nikkei up 0.7% and in particular the Hang Seng up over 3.0% at one point in morning trading on the Alibaba news.

- Alibaba restructuring news after the Hang Seng closed yesterday helped Alibaba ADRs go higher 14% overnight.

- [Alibaba: Confirms new organizational and governance structure into 6 units; Each to have the flexibility to raise outside capital and potentially to seek its own IPO] Will Ant Financial be allowed to revive IPO?

- Quarter end balancing of fund managers is currently in focus.

- US equity FUTs up nearly 0.5% over the US closing.

- AUD slightly lower after softer monthly CPI came in softer than expected at 6.8%,

- Aussie bond yields erase gain; RBA expected to leave rates unchanged next week.

Headlines/economic data

Australia/New Zealand

- (AU) ASX 200 opens -0.1% at 7,030.

- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB CPI Y/Y: 6.8% V 7.2%E.

- (AU) Australia sells A$800M v A$800M indicated in 3.75% May 2034 bonds; Avg Yield: 3.3864%; bid-to-cover: 3.78x.

China/Hong Kong

- (HK) Hang Seng opens +2.9% at 20,348; Alibaba indicated higher by >14%.

- (CN) Shanghai Composite opens +0.3% at 3,253.

- (HK) Hong Kong sells total HK$79.57B in 1-month, 3-month and 6-month.

- (CN) China PBOC Open Market Operation (OMO): Sells CNY200B v CNY278B prior in 7-day reverse repos: Net injects CNY133B v injects CNY96B prior.

- (CN) China PBOC sets Yuan reference rate: 6.8771 v 6.8749 prior.

- (CN) China to extend zero tariff on coal imports - financial press.

- (CN) China reportedly to make greater effort to attract foreign investments – press.

- (CN) China NDRC Dep Dir General: China's potential growth rate is the potential growth rate of the entire world.

- Alibaba confirms new organizational and governance structure into 6 units; Each to have the flexibility to raise outside capital and potentially to seek its own IPO.

Japan

- (JP) Nikkei 225 opens +0.1% at 27,549.

- (JP) Japan's Parliament passes record ¥114T budget for FY23.

South Korea

- (KR) Kospi opens flat at 2,432.

- (KR) South Korea Mar Consumer Confidence: 92.0 v 90.2 prior.

- (KR) South Korea Financial Supervisory Service's (FSS) Lee Bokhyun: South Korea Bank's hybrid bonds are safer than those in Europe.

- (KR) North Korea said to restart diplomatic activity for the first time in 3 years of COVID isolation; Expected to rotate its foreign envoys in the coming months - FT.

- (KR) South Korea Finance Minister: Government will take steps to increase domestic consumption.

Other Asia

- (VN) Vietnam Mar Trade Balance: $0.7B v $4.1Be.

- (VN) Vietnam Q1 GDP Y/Y: 3.3% v 4.8%e.

- (VN) Vietnam Mar CPI Y/Y: 3.4% v 3.9%e.

- (MY) Malaysia Central Bank: Sees 2023 GDP growth between 4.0-5.0% range; both headline and core CPI seen between 2.8-3.8% range.

- (TH) Thailand foreign tourist arrivals to be at least 30M in 2023: Private industry group.

North America

- (US) FDIC Chair Gruenberg: Regional bank liquidity has remained stable, US has a strong set of regional banks.

- (US) Fed’s Bullard (Non-Voter): Financial stress can be contained by macro prudential tools; monetary policy can put downward pressure on inflation.

- Micron guided Q3 FY23 results below estimates.

- (US) US Energy Secretary: Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) buy-backs could begin late this year [2023].

Europe

- (UK) PM Spokesperson Davies: UK Energy Sec to announce plans to secure UK's energy security and reach net zero by 2050.

- (EU) EU's Dombrovskis (Trade Chief): EU banking situation is stable and banks are prepared to withstand shocks.

Levels as of 01:20 ET

- Nikkei 225, +0.8%, ASX 200 +0.2% , Hang Seng +2.0%; Shanghai Composite -0.1% ; Kospi -0.3%.

- Equity S&P500 Futures: +0.5%; Nasdaq100 0.4%, Dax +0.4%; FTSE100 +0.2%.

- EUR 1.0834-1.0850 ; JPY 130.76-131.79 ; AUD 0.6688-0.6713 ; NZD 0.6238-0.6271.

- Gold -0.3% at $1984/oz; Crude Oil +0.7% at $73.69/brl; Copper -0.5% at $4.0568/lb.

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