General Trend:

- Real Estate companies and Securities brokers decline in Japan

- Sony rises over 6% on reports activist investor Third Point acquired stake

- Japan currency processing machinery companies gain, gov’t announced plans for new banknotes.

- Chinese automakers gain in Hong Kong after release of March sales; Geely +2%, Great Wall Motor +2%

- Chinese automakers support gains in Consumer Discretionary sector, property and telecom services indices also out perform

- Materials sector lags in China as Aluminum Corp of China, Baoshan Steel and Anhui Conch Cement decline

- Aussie iron ore miners trade generally higher, China iron ore prices hit record high

- Australia’s Crown Ltd rises over 20%, confirmed M&A talks with Wynn Resorts

- China 1-year swap rate rises as analysts debate policy outlook

- Japan Economy Min confirms US trade talks to start next week (April 15-18th)

- Analysts ponder whether economic slowdown will force Japan to again delay sales tax increase (financial press)

- Taiwan’s UMC and AU Optronics expected to report monthly sales today

- China Premier Li is expected to visit Europe from April 8-12th

- RBA Dep Gov Debelle is expected to speak on the state of the economy on Wed

 

Headlines/Economic Data

Australia/New Zealand

- ASX 200 opened flat

- (AU) AUSTRALIA FEB HOME LOANS M/M: 0.8% V +0.5%E (first rise since Oct 2018); Owner Occupier Loan Value m/m: 3.4% v 1.0%e; Investment Lending m/m: 0.9% v -1.0%e

- SMR.AU Reports Q3 saleable coal production 691kt v 302kt y/y; Raises FY19 production guidance to 2.3 MT (guided 2.15Mt prior); affirms FY19 Underlying EBITDA guidance of A$140-155M

- CWN.AU Confirms talks with Wynn Resorts, board has not considered most recent offer of A$14.75/shr in 50% cash and 50% shares

- (UK) UK's FCA signed two MOU's with Australian Securities and Investments Commission agree to strengthen cooperation post-Brexit

- (AU) Australia sells A$150M v A$150M indicated in 2.50% Sept 2030 indexed bonds, avg yield 0.33%, bid to cover: 5.3x

Japan

- Nikkei 225 opened slightly lower

- 7013.JP Internal investigation reveals 7,138 instances of inspection misconduct over 2-year period

- (JP) Japan Economy Min Motegi: Confirms first round of trade talks with US to begin next week; will first decided on which goods will be included

- SNE Reportedly Third Point (Loeb) has built an activist stake in Sony – press

- (JP) Japan MoF sells ¥1.9T v ¥1.9T indicated in 0.10% 5-yr JGB: avg yield: -0.164% v -0.144% prior, bid to cover: 5.31x v 5.15x prior

Korea

- Kospi opened +0.1%

- (KR) South Korea President Moon and US President Trump expected to produce a "meaningful" outcome on North Korea's denuclearization process when they hold talks in Washington later this week – Yonhap

- 000030.KR Acquired two local firms as part of efforts to boost non-banking sector and diversify its business portfolio - Yonhap

China/Hong Kong

 - Hang Seng opened flat; Shanghai Composite opened -0.1%

- (CN) Spain Ambassador to China de Mazarredo: China needs to open its markets and level the playing field, needs to take more responsibility by reviewing trade (comments ahead of EU/China summit in Belgium)

- (CN) China PBoC expected to resume open market operations (OMO) soon, to inject liquidity - China press

- (CN) China PBoC Open Market Operation (OMO): Skips for 14th consecutive session: Net: CNY0 v CNY0 prior

- (CN) China PBoC sets yuan reference rate: 6.7142 v 6.7201 prior

- (CN) China City of Chongqing March new home sales 2.12M sq meters, +64.3% y/y – SCMP

- (CN) Political economy professor Minxin Pei: US/China trade war inactivity could lead to the ‘worst recession in recent Chinese history’ – SCMP

- (CN) China cuts tax to 13% from 15% on personal items bought overseas, as part of plan to boost consumption – SCMP

North America

- (IR) Iran puts US central command on terror list - press

Europe

- (US) US Trade Representative (USTR) proposes tariffs to counter EU aircraft subsidies, releases for public comment a prelim list of EU products to be covered by additional duties, USTR estimates the harm from the EU subsidies of $11B/year

- (UK) Parliament passes law that blocks no deal Brexit

- (UK) UK Govt Spokesperson: "We are committed to finding a way through. That will require the parties to work at pace in order to address outstanding issues and so ministers and their shadow counterparts will be holding talks tomorrow"; Ministers to resume Brexit talks with Labour party Tuesday

- (UK) Mar BRC Sales Like-For-Like Y/Y: -1.1% v -0.8%e (biggest drop since April 2018)

- (UK) UK Mar Barclaycard Consumer Spending Y/Y: 3.1% v 1.2% prior

- (UK) EU to set a high price for delaying Brexit including UK to give up rights in future EU budget and trade talks; will force UK into no deal Brexit if it seeks to cancel election to European parliament May 23rd

 

Levels as of 1:20 ET

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

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

- EUR 1.1270-1.1255 ; JPY 111,58-111.27 ; AUD 0.7131-0.7109 ;NZD 0.6751-0.6737

- Gold +0.1% at $1,303/oz; Crude Oil +0.2% at $64.53/brl; Copper +0.3% at $2.943/lb

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