Asia Market Update: Asian equities continue to rise; Nikkei extends gain above 30K, US equity FUTs rise; JPY and USD trade weaker; Quieter session seen for gov’t bonds and oil.

General Trend

- Asian indices opened the session generally higher, Shanghai remains closed; Hang Seng has risen by over 1.5% upon its return from the 2 day holiday [Property, Finance and TECH indices outperform], Nikkei has also risen by over 1.5% [big weighted firms rise including Fast Retailing and Softbank; Topix Marine Transportation, Banks and Securities indices outperform]; More modest gains were seen in Australia [Energy and Resources indices rose, Consumer firms lagged] and South Korea.

- Nikkei and the ASX 200 continued to rise after the opens; Kospi and Hang Seng are closer to opening levels.

- Imax China rose over 85%, reported record box office sales; Imax China rose over 85%, reported record box office sales

- Earnings reactions: [Australia]: NAB, BHP, Sims Metal, SG Fleet Group, Breville Group, Ansell rise; Redbubble declines; [Japan] Dentsu declines

- Japan companies expected to report earnings include Bridgestone and GungHo Online

- US agricultural commodities rise; there has been some press focus on the arctic temperatures in the US (particularly in the Midwest)

- Various oil refineries in Texas were shut due to weather conditions (including Motiva’s Port Arthur Complex, Marathon’s Galveston Bay and Exxon’s Baytown)

- Singapore is due to release budget statement later today

- RBA Assistant Gov Kent is due to speak on Feb 17th (Wed) at 12:00 pm local time

- Rio Tinto to release FY results on Feb 17th (Wed)

- Companies expected to report during the NY morning include Advance Auto Parts, AutoNation, CVS, Ecolab, Louisiana-Pacific, Palantir, Sabre Corp, TransUnion, US Foods, Vulcan Materials, Yandex

Headlines/Economic Data

Australia/New Zealand

- ASX 200 opened 0.0%

- BHP.AU Reports H1 underlying Net $6.0B v $5.2B y/y; Underlying EBITDA $14.7B v $12.1B y/y, Rev $25.6B v $22.3B y/y; Affirms FY production raises Capex

- NAB.AU Reports Q1 (A$) cash earnings 1.65B v 1.65B y/y

- (AU) RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA (RBA) FEB MEETING MINUTES: CONCLUDED ENDING RBA BOND BUYING WOULD PUT "SIGNIFICANT" UPWARD PRESSURE ON A$

- (AU) Australia total payroll jobs change for Jan 16-30th: +1.3% v +1.3% prior; Wages 0.4% v +1.3% prior

- TAH.AU Said that Apollo has made A$3.0-3.5B cash offer for all the business except lotteries unit - Aussie press

Japan

- Nikkei 225 opened +0.5%

- (JP) Japan Fin Min Aso: Declines to comment on Stock prices; Domestic economy recovering faster than it did after the financial crisis; fiscal situation has worsened greatly

- (JP) Bank of Japan (BOJ) Gov Kuroda: COVID having major impact both domestic and overseas, need to increase productivity and innovation; BOJ won't end or seek exit from ETF buying for time being - speaking to parliament

- 2503.JP Reports FY20 Net ¥71.9B v ¥59.6B y/y; Pretax ¥124.6B v ¥116.8B y/y; Rev ¥1.85T v ¥1.94T y/y (yesterday after the close)

- (JP) Japan MoF sells ¥2.5T v ¥2.5T indicated in 0.10% 5-year JGBs; avg yield -0.1010% v -0.111% prior, bid to cover 3.49x v 3.83x prior

Korea

- Kospi opened +0.2%

- (KR) South Korea President Moon: South Korea will aim to create 900K jobs through Q1

- 005930.KR According to International Data Corp. (IDC) in Q4 Samsung was the top tablet maker in Europe, Middle East and Africa, shipping 4.0M tablets to the market v 3.2M y/y with 28.1% market share v 24.8% y/y - Yonhap

China/Hong Kong

- Hang Seng opens +1.7%; Shanghai Composite closed

- 1970.HK Reports opening China Lunar New Year weekend box office sales of $25M (record high)

- (HK) Ahead of Hong Kong 2021-2022 budget announcement on Feb 24th, ACCA estimates a budget deficit of HK$288B on Rev of HK$872B - HK press

- (CN) China considering rare earth export curbs targeting US Defense Sector - US press

North America

- AAPL ApplePay now supports Bitcoin payments, via BitPay – press

- (US) President Biden will seek to convince the public of the necessity of its $1.9T stimulus plan during a trip to Milwaukee Tuesday, his first since taking the White House, in which he will stress the need to maintain economic support for a recovery

- (US) Statement from the Texas oil & gas regulator (RRC): Some producers (especially in the Permian Basin and Panhandle) are experiencing unprecedented freezing conditions which caused concerns for employee safety and affected production

Europe

- (EU) European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Gentiloni: EU likely to decide in spring when and how govts will start tapering support to their economies as vaccination campaigns allow the lifting of pandemic lockdowns and economic activity picks up

- (UK) Verifiable Credentials CEO: Have reached an agreement with an undisclosed movie theater chain to trial technology that would allow them to attend movies with a COVID "vaccine passport" - UK press

- (UK) Trade between EU and UK smoothing out with reports of fewer haulage companies pulling out of jobs in the past week and rejection rate for cargo between France and the UK fell to the lowest level since late Nov - press

Levels as of 12:15ET

- Hang Seng +1.4%; Shanghai Composite closed; Kospi +0.3%; Nikkei225 +2.0%; ASX 200 +0.7%

- Equity Futures: S&P500 +0.6%; Nasdaq100 +0.6%, Dax +0.2%; FTSE100 +0.5%

- EUR 1.2150-1.2127; JPY 105.64-105.31; AUD 0.7805-0.7780; NZD 0.7266-0.7225

- Commodity Futures: Gold +0.0% at $1,823/oz; Crude Oil +1.2% at $60.20/brl; Copper -0.0% at $3.83/lb

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