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US stocks rally following Feds rate hike
Mar 16,2017

U.S. stocks climbed higher on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time since December 2015. The Fed increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, noting that headline inflation is n++moving closen++ to its 2% target. The major averages started the day in the green thanks to a bullish sentiment in the crude oil market and climbed to new session highs in the afternoon following the FOMC decision.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 112.73 points, or 0.5%, to end at 20,950.10. The S&P 500 index advanced 19.81 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 2,385.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 43.23 points, or 0.7%, to 5,900.05.

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise the fed funds target range by 25 basis points to 0.75%-1.00% on Wednesday. More notably, the Fed still believes that three rate hikes are appropriate for 2017, relieving investors fears that the central bank could begin setting the groundwork for a fourth hike.

The ICE U.S. dollar index extended its decline following the news, which had been widely expected. A weaker greenback tends to provide support for dollar-denominated commodities.

Economic data released on Wednesday showed the Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in February, the smallest increase since last summer. Separately, retail sales rose 0.1% in February.

Economic data also showed that the Empire Manufacturing Survey for March rose to 16.4 from the prior months reading of 18.7. The consensus estimate was pegged at 14.5. The NAHB Housing Market Index for March rose to 71 (consensus 65) from an unrevised reading of 65 in February. Business Inventories rose 0.3% in January, which is in line with the consensus. The prior months reading was left unrevised at 0.4%.

Crude oil prices ended their long losing streak on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 as a drop in the dollar in the wake of the Federal Reserves decision to raise interest rates, as expected, fed an earlier rebound. Oil futures had been on the rise after U.S. government data showed the first decline for domestic-crude stockpiles in 10 weeks.

April West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.14, or 2.4%, to settle at $48.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after seven straight session losses. It touched highs above $49 following the Fed news, which came about a half-hour before the settlement. May Brent crude on the ICE Futures exchange in London gained 89 cents, or 1.8%, to $51.81 a barrel.

Early Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that domestic crude-oil supplies fell 200,000 barrels from a record level to total 528.2 million barrels for the week ended March 10. Market had forecast a climb of 3.5 million barrels. The supply decline came even as the EIA reported U.S. crude output rose 21,000 barrels to 9.109 million barrels a day. Meanwhile, gasoline supplies fell by 3.1 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles dropped 4.2 million barrels last week.

Gold futures settled with a loss on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 while silver ended flat. Gold climbed up in post electronic tradingbuoyed by a fall in the U.S. dollar following the Federal Reserves decision to increase interest rates, as expected. Expectations for higher rates had already been generally dollar-positive and gold-negative as a richer buck makes gold less attractive to investors using another currency.

Gold for April delivery fell $1.90, or 0.2%, to finish at $1,200.70 an ounce. It was trading higher at $1,210.50 in electronic trading shortly after the Fed announcement, which followed the price settlement. May silver settled flat at $16.923 an ounce.

U.S. Treasuries spiked across the board in the wake of the FOMCs decision to tighten monetary policy. The benchmark 10-yr yield, which moves inversely to the price of the 10-yr Treasury note, finished ten basis points lower at 2.51%. Meanwhile, the 2-yr yield, which is more vulnerable to short-term interest rate hikes, lost seven basis points to finish at 1.31%.

Tomorrows economic data will include February Housing Starts (consensus 1.260 million), Initial Claims (consensus 242,000), and March Philadelphia Fed (consensus 25.0) at 8:30 ET.

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Japan Jan Factory Output Revised Up
Mar 16,2017

Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry released revised industrial production data on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, showing industrial production fell a revised 0.4% in January compared to the previous month, an upward revision from the preliminary 0.8% drop reported last month, but it still marked the first drop in six months following a 0.7% gain in December. The Index of Industrial Production (100 in 2010) remained relatively high at 100.2 (revised up from 99.8), with output up a revised 3.7% (vs. a preliminary +3.2%) from a year earlier, the third straight rise.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks down ahead of Fed rate call
Mar 15,2017

Headline equities of Asia Pacific market closed mixed on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, as wait-and-see mood prevailed prior to the major events, including the U.S. Federal Reserves announcement of its monetary policy decision later on Wednesday following a two-day meeting and the Netherlands hold a general election.

. A wait-and-see mood weighed on stock markets globally ahead of key events, including the U.S. Federal Reserves monetary policy decision later on Wednesday after a two-day meeting. Speculation has grown that Fed officials could accelerate the pace of rate increases because President Donald Trumps possible tax cuts and infrastructure projects could overheat the economy. A faster pace of interest-rate increases could cool U.S. economic activity and weigh on stock markets globally. A rate increase is widely expected this time, but market participants are trying to understand how quickly Fed officials are planning to raise rates further.

Market sentiment tilted toward risk aversion somewhat after the latest opinion polls ahead of the Netherlands general election, scheduled for Wednesday, suggested an increase in support for the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV).

The price of oil dropped as much as 2.7% Tuesday after OPEC data showed Saudi Arabia raised its production to more than 10 million barrels a day.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Stocks edge higher

Australian equity market finished marginal higher after recouping early losses late afternoon, thanks to gains in the material and resources stocks. At the close, the S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session up 0.3%, or 14.86 points, at 5,774.

Shares of material sector performed strongly, led by BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group, which rose 1.5% and 5.7%, respectively, as iron ore futures in China surged more than five%, after steel prices rose to a three-year high on hopes for strong demand.

Real estate stocks also ended higher with GPT Group gaining 3.1% and Viva Energy Reit closing 5% higher.

Nikkei falls 0.16%

The Japan share market finished lower on tracking sluggish lead from overseas equities overnight and on cautious ahead of the Federal Reserves interest-rate decision due later in the day. But the markets downside was limited thanks partly to expectations for exchange-traded fund purchases by the Bank of Japan. Tokyos Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.16%, or 32.12 points, to end the day at 19,577.38, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.23%, or 3.59 points, at 1,571.31.

Mining, oil and coal products were the worst-performing sectors among 33 Topix subindexes amid renewed selling in crude oil. Oil explorer Inpex lost 1.4% to 1,106.0 yen. Oil distributor JX Holdings dropped 1.7% to Y547.8. Steel makers JFE Holdings and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, as well as Sumitomo Chemical and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, were downbeat, tracking the weak performance of their U.S. peers on the New York market overnight.

Toshiba tumbled 12% to Y189.5 after Chief Executive Satoshi Tsunakawa said late Tuesday the company is considering a bankruptcy filing for its troubled U.S. nuclear affiliate. Also, the Tokyo Stock Exchange placed Toshiba shares under special supervision, a heightened warning to investors that the stock could be delisted.

Kyushu Electric Power dropped 8.0% to Y1,147 after the company said it would issue convertible bonds, raising concerns about possible dilution.

China Stocks end roughly flat

Headline equities of the Mainland China market ended little higher, as market activity was quiet ahead of key events including a U.S. monetary policy decision and Premier Li Keqiangs press conference at the end of Chinas annual parliamentary meeting. Sector performance was mixed, with transportation and material shares rising, while real estate and banking shares lost ground. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2%, to 3,463.64 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1% to 3,241.76 points.

Traders said there were few surprises from Premier Li Keqiangs news conference at the end of the annual meeting of Chinas parliament. Li offered reassurances about Chinas economy, saying forecasts of a hard landing should stop. While acknowledging the economy faces internal and external risks, he said the country has many policy tools to cope with them. He also stressed that Beijing does not want to see a trade war with the United States and urged talks between both sides to achieve common ground.

The indexes have been trapped in a narrow range over the past month, with investors conflicted by signs of economic strength and lingering doubts over whether the recovery, bolstered mainly by government stimulus, is sustainable.

Sector performance was mixed. Gains were led by infrastructure and material shares, which gained support from the continued strength of commodities, while financial plays lost ground.

Hong Kong Stocks down

The Hong Kong stock market closed slight lower, weighed down by tracking sluggish overseas equities overnight and on caution ahead of key events including a U.S. monetary policy decision. But, loses were capped after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a news conference that Beijing does not want to see a trade war with the U.S., and reiterated its stance that relations between the two countries hinge on adherence to the One China policy. Sector performance was mixed, with energy shares leading the decline as lower oil prices dragged down the sector. At the close, the Hang Seng Index finished down 0.2% or 35.1 points at 23,792.85. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-shares index, retreated 0.4% or 42.4 points to 10,272.83. Turnover increased slightly to HK$73.2 billion from HK$72 billion on Tuesday. Sixteen stocks rose and 32 fell among the 50 blue chips, with two stocks remaining unchanged.

Oil majors were all weaker because of falling oil prices. CNOOC (00883) fell 1% to HK$8.81. PetroChina (00857) was down 0.5% to HK$5.66. Sinopec (00386) declined 0.7% to HK$5.81.

Property counters were lower despite analysts believe that HK banks will not follow suit the Feds rate hike this time. CK Property (01113) softened 0.2% to HK$51.6. Henderson Land (00012) slipped 0.6% to HK$45.55. Sino Land (00083) dipped 0.5% to HK$13.04. But Wheelock (00020) soared 5.2% to HK$60.2, while Wharf (00004) put on 1.6% to HK$68.7.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (00388) added 1.4% to HK$194.7 after Premier Li said at a press conference that China will allow overseas funds to buy onshore bonds in transactions carried out in Hong Kong.

Indian Market close with small losses

Key benchmark indices settled with small losses after a range-bound and lacklustre session of trade. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, lost 44.52 points or 0.15% to settle at 29,398.11. The Nifty 50 index shed 2.20 points or 0.02% to settle at 9,084.80. Investors maintained caution ahead of the Federal Reserves outcome of the policy meet later in the day. Profit booking materialised after domestic bourses posted strong gains in the previous session, which saw Nifty hitting record high. The domestic data showing rise in consumer inflation in February also weighed on sentiment.

Stocks of public sector banks gained. Stocks of private sector banks were mixed. IT stocks declined as rupee strengthened against the dollar.Tata Power Company rose after Tata Power Solar, wholly owned subsidiary of the company announced a significant expansion and modernisation of its cell and module manufacturing facility in Bengaluru. Bharat Heavy Electricals edged higher after the company said that it has commenced commercial operation of its first 800 megawatts supercritical thermal power plant in Raichur.

JSW Steel inched up after the company said its crude steel production rose 25% to 12.65 lakh tonnes in February 2017 over February 2016. Reliance Communications advanced after the company said it received approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), BSE and National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) for the proposed scheme of arrangement for demerger of the wireless division of the company into Aircel and Dishnet Wireless.

The all-India general CPI inflation increased to 3.65% in February 2017, compared with 3.17% in January 2017. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.67% and urban area was 3.55% in February 2017 as against 3.36% and 2.9% in January 2017. The core CPI inflation rose to 5% in January 2017 from 4.83% in December 2016. The data was announced after market hours yesterday, 14 March 2017.

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Hong Kong Stocks down on Wednesday
Mar 15,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed slight lower on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, weighed down by tracking sluggish overseas equities overnight and on caution ahead of key events including a U.S. monetary policy decision. But, loses were capped after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a news conference that Beijing does not want to see a trade war with the U.S., and reiterated its stance that relations between the two countries hinge on adherence to the One China policy. Sector performance was mixed, with energy shares leading the decline as lower oil prices dragged down the sector. At the close, the Hang Seng Index finished down 0.2 per cent or 35.1 points at 23,792.85. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-shares index, retreated 0.4 per cent or 42.4 points to 10,272.83. Turnover increased slightly to HK$73.2 billion from HK$72 billion on Tuesday. Sixteen stocks rose and 32 fell among the 50 blue chips, with two stocks remaining unchanged.

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China Stocks end roughly flat on Wednesday
Mar 15,2017

Headline equities of the Mainland China market ended little higher on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, as market activity was quiet ahead of key events including a U.S. monetary policy decision and Premier Li Keqiangs press conference at the end of Chinas annual parliamentary meeting. Sector performance was mixed, with transportation and material shares rising, while real estate and banking shares lost ground. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2%, to 3,463.64 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1% to 3,241.76 points.

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Nikkei falls 0.16% on Wednesday
Mar 15,2017

The Japan share market finished lower on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, on tracking sluggish lead from overseas equities overnight and on cautious ahead of the Federal Reserves interest-rate decision due later in the day. But the markets downside was limited thanks partly to expectations for exchange-traded fund purchases by the Bank of Japan. Tokyos Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.16%, or 32.12 points, to end the day at 19,577.38, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.23%, or 3.59 points, at 1,571.31.

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Australia Stocks edge higher on Wednesday
Mar 15,2017

Australian equity market finished marginal higher after recouping early losses late afternoon on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, thanks to gains in the material and resources stocks. At the close, the S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session up 0.3%, or 14.86 points, at 5,774. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 543 to 524 and 341 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 3.36% to 9.620.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed before key policy meetings
Mar 14,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed mixed in cautious trade on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, as cautious traders refrained from making big bets ahead of a series of global risk events this week. The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index rose 0.3%

The market has been keeping an eye on several developments this week. U.K. lawmakers on Monday removed the final hurdle to the prime ministers plan to start talks on the countrys departure from the European Union. The Netherlands is set to hold national elections Wednesday. That same day, the U.S. central bank is widely expected to tighten the monetary policy after the conclusion of its policy meeting and possibly signal faster interest-rate increases in coming months , while the Bank of Japan, Norges Bank and Bank of England also meet this week. Closing out the busy schedule, Group of 20 finance ministers will meet in Germany on March 17-18.

The focus is the Feds meeting this week. Expectations that the Fed will raise rates this month have soared in recent weeks amid a slew of upbeat speeches from Fed officials. Fridays better-than-expected jobs report confirmed the central banks case for raising rates at the meeting. With a rate increase already priced into markets, investors will focus on the Feds press conference and interest-rate projections, called the dot plot.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Stocks edge higher

Australian equity market finished slight higher, as gains in the resources and energy sectors offset weakness among banks, healthcare companies and utilities. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 1.80 points, or 0.03%, of 5,759.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index grew 3.50 points, or 0.06%, to 5,798.10.

Shares of material sector performed strongly, on the back of 1.8% jump in spot iron ore to $88.26 a tonne overnight. Sentiment among miners was boosted by a continuing recovery in Chinese steel and iron ore futures, which were both up more than 3% in afternoon trade after a spike in Chinese property sales in the first two months of the year suggested steel demand will remain supported. Among index heavyweights, BHP added 0.85%, South32 gained 2.9% and Fortescue rose 1.5%, while Whitehaven Coal rallied 4.6%.

Energy stocks gained as crude oil remained steady in Asian trade after dropping sharply in recent days on indications that U.S. production is ramping up. Among energy stocks, Woodside Petroleum was ahead 0.7%, Oil Search nudged up 0.2% and Santos gained 1.1%.

Senex Energy jumped 6.2%, after the oil and gas explorer said it will commence drilling of a gas exploration well in the South Australian Cooper Basin, targeting substantial gas volumes.

Shares of Brickworks jumped 7.4% after broker Bell Potter called the stock the cheapest building materials exposure in the market and upgraded it to buy.

Nikkei falls 0.12%

The Japan share market finished lower, as investors took their cash off the table after the benchmark indices hit 15-month intraday high and due to caution before US Federal Reserves two-day meeting, where officials are expected to lift rates for just the third time in the past decade. At the close, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.12%, or 24.25 points, to finish at 19,609.50, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.16%, or 2.50 points, to 1,574.90.

Real-estate and steel stocks led decliners Tuesday, though selling wasnt aggressive. Mitsubishi Estate fell 1.3% to Y2,190.5. Mitsui Fudosan lost 1.1% to Y2,554.5. Steelmaker JFE Holdings dropped 1.0% to Y2,032. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal shed 0.8% to Y2,711.

Mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui, and brokerage firm Nomura, were downbeat. Automaker Toyota met with selling due to growing concern that a proposed border tax may be included in Trumps budget proposal to be submitted on Thursday. Other major losers included JFE Holdings, Japan Tobacco, Nintendo and Bridgestone.

Toshiba ended higher after diving more than 8% on worries about delisting. The struggling electronics and machinery maker on Tuesday filed for approval to postpone for the second its April-December 2016 earnings report.

Insurers Tokio Marine and Sompo Holdings were buoyant on the back of hopes for improved earnings following an overnight rise in U.S. long-term interest rates. Also on the plus side were mobile phone carrier SoftBank, food maker Nippon Suisan and drugmaker Takeda.

China Stocks up solid economic data

Headline equities of the Mainland China market ended mostly higher, as January to February economic data painted a rosier picture of the worlds second largest economy. But gains were capped amid caution ahead of a series of global risk events later this week. The Shanghai Composite Index closed the day up 0.76% at 3,237.02, while the CSI 300 - which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen - was up 0.88% at 3,458.10. The Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.14% to 2,027.11. The tech-heavy ChiNext declined 0.65% to 1,958.02.

Chinas industrial output grew by 6.3% in the first two months of the year, from the same period a year before, fixed asset investment grew 8.9% on-year. Private investment rose by 6.7% from 3.2% in the same period last year. Retail sales grew 9.5% in January and February on-year.

Real estate stocks advanced 1.2%, led by industry heavyweight China Vanke Co up 4.2% to 21.57 yuan, and China Calxon Group up 3.1% to 8.26 yuan after data showed Chinas property sales surged despite government measures to cool the market.

Cement producers and steel makers advanced broadly, boosted by a set of upbeat economic data, with Huaxin Cement rising 4.7% to 9.81 yuan, Anhui Conch Cement up 3.7% to 21.17 yuan, and Hebei Iron & Steel higher by 1.8% to 3.91 yuan. The sectors were boosted by a set of upbeat economic data released on Tuesday.

Banking stocks barely moved, as Goldman Sachs updated China stocks to overweight with a bullish view on Chinas banking sector, citing improving credit outlook and growing loan pricing power.

Hong Kong Stocks mixed

The Hong Kong stock market closed mixed, as many investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserves two-day monetary policy meeting and as European political uncertainty weighs on sentiment. Investors were awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserves rate-setting meeting on March 14-15, policy decisions by the Bank of England and Bank of Japan, and also keeping an eye on the Dutch general election and shaky oil prices. The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.01%, or 1.72 points, to 23,827.95, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index gained 0.55%, or 56.52 points, to 10,315.23. Turnover decreased sharply to HK$72 billion from HK$86.5 billion on Monday.

The focus is the Feds meeting this week. Its almost certain that a rate increase will take place. But the key is whether the Fed will give a forecast of rate rises this year. Hong Kong stocks will face downward pressure if the Fed signals quicker rate rises in their meeting tomorrow. Hong Kong stocks will face downward pressure if the Fed signals quicker rate rises in their meeting tomorrow. Markets expectations for a 25-basis-point rate increase

The northbound quota balance of the Shanghai-HK Connect program was RMB13.838 billion, surpassing the daily allowed quota of RMB13 billion. It meant net outflow of RMB838 million. The southbound quota balance was RMB9.046 billion, accounting for 86.2% of the daily allowed quota of RMB10.5 billion.

As for the Shenzhen-HK Connect, the northbound quota balance was RMB13.049 billion, surpassing the daily allowed quota of RMB13 billion. It meant net outflow of RMB49 million. The southbound quota balance was RMB9.846 billion, accounting for 93.8% of the daily allowed quota of RMB10.5 billion.

Property counters were lower as a Fed hike in March is all but certain. K Wah (00173) surged 8% to HK$4.78. Wheelock (00020) put on 3% to HK$57.2. New World (00017) and SHKP (00016) dipped 1-2% to HK$9.8 and HK$112.1.

JP Morgan forecast Macaus March gross gaming revenues growth of 10-15%. Galaxy Entertainment (00027) gained 2% to HK$39.5. Sands China (01928) climbed 2% to HK$34.45.

Wynn Macau (01128) shot up 3% to HK$14.84. Want Want (00151) fell 1% to HK$5.08 after it reported 2016 earnings growth of 4% to RMB3.52 billion. Sunny Optical (02382) sank 4% to HK$55.1 even though its 2016 net grew 67% to RMB1.27 billion.

Indian Market surges 1.71%

Indian equity markets registered a solid rally triggered by Bharatiya Janata Partys (BJP) impressive show in the recently held assembly elections in five states. Investors cheered the spectacular show by BJP in Uttar Pradesh, a politically crucial state. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, jumped 496.40 points or 1.71% to settle at 29,442.63. The Nifty 50 index surged 152.45 points or 1.71% to settle at 9,087. Data showing a recovery in industrial production in January also boosted sentiment. Key indices remained firm throughout the session after witnessing a gap-up opening.

The election results could provide a much needed boost to the ruling BJP at the centre to accelerate the pace of reforms, including the rollout of the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST), slated to be implemented from 1 July 2017.

Bank stocks rose. Capital goods stocks gained in firm market. Realty stocks also advanced.

ACC edged higher after the company said it sold its entire 12.13% stake in Shiva Cement at Rs 38.66 crore to JSW Cement. Shares of Coal India tumbled on turning ex-dividend today, 14 March 2017. Power Grid Corporation of India advanced after the company said that its board of directors accorded approval for various investment proposals aggregating to Rs 1197.10 crore.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose after the company said that US Food and Drug Administration will lift the import alert imposed on the companys Mohali facility.

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Australia Stocks edge higher
Mar 14,2017

Australian equity market finished slight higher on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, as gains in the resources and energy sectors offset weakness among banks, healthcare companies and utilities. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 1.80 points, or 0.03%, of 5,759.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index grew 3.50 points, or 0.06%, to 5,798.10.

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Nikkei falls 0.12%
Mar 14,2017

The Japan share market finished lower on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, as investors took their cash off the table after the benchmark indices hit 15-month intraday high and due to caution before US Federal Reserves two-day meeting, where officials are expected to lift rates for just the third time in the past decade. At the close, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.12%, or 24.25 points, to finish at 19,609.50, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.16%, or 2.50 points, to 1,574.90.

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China Stocks up solid economic data
Mar 14,2017

Headline equities of the Mainland China market ended mostly higher on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, as January to February economic data painted a rosier picture of the worlds second largest economy. But gains were capped amid caution ahead of a series of global risk events later this week. The Shanghai Composite Index closed the day up 0.76% at 3,237.02, while the CSI 300 - which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen - was up 0.88% at 3,458.10. The Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.14% to 2,027.11. The tech-heavy ChiNext declined 0.65% to 1,958.02.

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Hong Kong Stocks mixed before key policy meetings
Mar 14,2017

The Hong Kong stock market closed mixed on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, as many investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserves two-day monetary policy meeting and as European political uncertainty weighs on sentiment. Investors were awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserves rate-setting meeting on March 14-15, policy decisions by the Bank of England and Bank of Japan, and also keeping an eye on the Dutch general election and shaky oil prices. The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.01%, or 1.72 points, to 23,827.95, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index gained 0.55%, or 56.52 points, to 10,315.23. Turnover decreased sharply to HK$72 billion from HK$86.5 billion on Monday.

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Minor gains at Wall Street
Mar 10,2017

U.S. stocks eked out gains on Thursday, 09 March 2017 on the back of a rebound in energy shares. The European Central Bank (ECB) captured investors attention for a while this morning with its latest policy decision to leave rates unchanged.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.46 points to close at 20,858.19. The S&P 500 index edged up 1.89 points to finish at 2,364.87, and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.25 points to end at 5,838.81.

The health care sector finished with the energy group at the top of the days leaderboard. Similarly, the financial, consumer staples, and telecom services sectors also outperformed the broader market.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at its latest meeting, as had been widely expected. In a statement, the bank repeated that it expects rates to remain n++at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizonn++ of its bond-buying program, which is scheduled to run through at least December.

More notably, the ECB raised its 2017 GDP forecast to 1.8% from 1.7%, but did not suggest an impending reduction to stimulus. This gave a boost to the euro, helping the currency climb 0.4% against the dollar to 1.0587. The European Central Banks stand-pat stance on easing measures and Mario Draghis assertion that hes less concerned about deflation also weighed on commodities.

Earlier, oil prices had fallen below $49 for the first time this year.

Crude oil prices sank below $50 a barrel on Thursday, 09 March 2017 for the first time this year, marking their lowest finish since late November, as the market worried that growing U.S. crude producers may undermine efforts to rebalance global supply and demand.

April West Texas Intermediate crude slid $1 or 2%, to settle at $49.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as low as $48.79 earlier in the session. Prices, which lost 5.4% a day earlier. May Brent crude on Londons ICE Futures exchange lost 92 cents, or 1.7%, to $52.19 a barrel, also trading at levels not seen in more than three months.

According to reports, senior Saudi energy officials told top independent U.S. oil firms this week that they should not assume OPEC will extend their production cuts to offset output growth from U.S. shale fields.

Prices also fell as a rising dollar index paused its advance; The ICE Dollar Index which tracks the greenback against major currencies, slipped 0.2% to 101.87.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Thursday, 09 March 2017 at Comex. Gold futures settled lower for an eighth consecutive session on Thursday as the European Central Bank appeared less concerned about deflation and investors awaited an expected rate increase from the Federal Reserve next week.

Gold for April delivery on Comex fell $6.20, or 0.5%, to $1,203.20 an ounce. May silver fell 26 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $17.04 an ounce.

Economic data at Wall Street showed that first-time jobless claims rose by 20,000 in the latest week, more than had been expected, though layoffs remained near a 45-year low.

Separately, import prices excluding oil rose 0.3% in February after ticking down 0.1% in January (revised from -0.2%). Export prices excluding agriculture increased 0.3% in February after rising 0.2% in January (revised from +0.1%).

In the Treasury market, U.S. sovereign debt finished Thursdays session lower as investors eyed tomorrows Employment Situation Report, which is regarded as the last potential barrier to a March rate hike. The benchmark 10-yr yield finished four basis points higher at 2.60%.

Tomorrows economic data will include the Employment Situation Report for February (consensus 188,000), which will be released tomorrow at 8:30 ET while the February Treasury Budget will follow at 14:00 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks rebound on upbeat China trade data
Mar 08,2017

Asia Pacific share market closed mixed on Wednesday, 08 March 2017, as strong China trade data bolstered bets of a recovering global economy, though gains were capped by caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserves meeting next week where it is widely expected to raise interest rates.

Chinese imports in U.S. dollar terms surged but exports fell slightly in February compared with the same month a year ago, resulting in an unexpected trade deficit, according to data released Wednesday by the General Administration of Customs. However, trade data is usually volatile at the start of the year due to the fall of the Chinese New Year. Chinas exports fell 1.3% year-on-year in February in USD terms, compared with a 7.9% gain in January, while imports surged 38.1%, compared with a 16.7% gain the month before. The resulting $9.15 billion trade deficit for the month was the first monthly deficit since February 2014. This compares with a trade surplus of $51.32 billion in January.

Import growth on a yearly basis last month was mainly due to further rising commodities prices and the distortion of the Chinese New Year holiday which came at end January. Factories started to purchase more raw materials after the CNY holiday to resume production. Imports from the European Union surged 33.8% to $16.44 billion last month, compared with a 7.9% rise in January. A low base also helped with the import surge.

Regarding exports, the pre-holiday rush to meet export orders disappeared after the CNY, which helped reversed the gain in the export growth in January. Exports to key trade partners showed year-on-year falls, according to Customs data. Exports to the U.S. fell 4.2% y/y to $21.72 billion last month, compared with a gain of 6.2% in January. Exports to the European Union declined 5.8% y/y to $21.02 billion, compared with a gain of 2.9% in January. Exports to Japan fell 7.8% y/y to $7.9 billion, compared with a gain of 9.2% in January.

Investors are awaiting cues on the U.S. economy along with the governments payrolls report for February, which is due on Friday, to determine whether a rate hike at the upcoming meeting is a done deal. The Federal Reserve has a policy meeting on March 14-15 and markets have quickly ratcheted up bets of a rate increase at the meeting after recent hawkish comments by US policy makers.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Stocks down, weigh by miners

Australian equity market finished marginally down in choppy trade, as losses by mining stocks and weakness in utilities offset modest gains in the energy sector and most big banks. At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.70 points, or 0.03%, of 5,759.70, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 2.40 points, or 0.04%, to 5,799.50.

The materials sector was the biggest single drag on the index, as copper prices retreated overnight after a sudden jump of supply into the London Metal Exchanges warehouses. with major miners like Rio Tinto and BHP down 0.4 and 1.1%, respectively. Iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group shed 0.6%. Copper miner Oz Minerals shed 1.8%, after the copper price slid 1.5% overnight.

The gold miners fell after bullion price fell to a one-month low amid prospect of an increase in short-term U.S. interest rates, although prices edged higher Asian trade. Evolution Mining fell 2% and Northern Star Resources lost 2.3%.

The financials sector was well-supported, with the big four banks up between 0.7 and 0.9%, with the exception of the Commonwealth Bank, which closed 0.4% lower.

Brambles, Healthscope and iSentia traded lower after moving ex-dividend, down 1.4, 3.1 and 2.4%, respectively.

Dominos Pizza Enterprises shares closed up 0.4% after the company announced it would audit all of its 740 franchised stories by the end of June to ensure compliance with labour regulations.

Bellamys Australia was down 3.9% after the baby-food maker said a second class action has been filed against it that includes allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct and breaches of its continuous disclosure obligations.

Nikkei falls for fourth day

The Japan share market ended down for fourth straight session, due to growing wait-and-see mood ahead of closely watched events, in particular the U.S. employment data later this week, the final hurdle before the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting next week. A fall in the U.S. equities on Tuesday and a halt to the yens weakening against the dollar also weighed on the Tokyo market. But the markets downside was supported by buying on dips and hopes for exchange-traded fund buying by the Bank of Japan. The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 90.12 points, or 0.47%, to end at 19,254.03. The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 4.79 points, or 0.31%, at 1,550.25.

Drugmakers Astellas, Takeda, Dai-ichi Sankyo, Shionogi and Chugai Pharmaceutical were downbeat, after their U.S. peers met with selling in New York trading on Tuesday following U.S. President Donald Trumps renewed vow to bring down drug prices. Mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho as well as brokerage firm Nomura also finished on the minus side. Other major losers included department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi, automaker Isuzu and tire maker Sumitomo Rubber.

By contrast, Nintendo attracted purchases, with investors taking heart from brisk sales of its new game console Nintendo Switch, released on Friday. Also on the plus side were home builder Sekisui House as well as insurers Dai-ichi Life and Tokio Marine.

On economic news front- Data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japans gross domestic product expanded 0.3% on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016. That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.4%, but was up from last months preliminary reading of 0.2%. GDP gained 0.3% in the third quarter. On a yearly basis, GDP was revised up to 1.2% from 1.0%, although that also missed forecasts for 1.5%.

The Ministry of Finance said that Japan had a current account surplus of 65.5 billion yen in January, down 88.9% on year. The headline figure was shy of forecasts for a surplus of 270.0 billion yen and down from 1,112.2 billion yen in December. The trade balance showed a deficit of 853.4 billion yen, missing expectations for a shortfall of 800.2 billion yen following the 806.8 billion yen surplus in the previous month.

China Stocks down on profit booking

Mainland China stock market ended lower, due to profit-taking after a two-day winning streak and lingering concerns over tighter liquidity. The Shanghai Composite Index closed the day down 0.05% at 3,240.66, while the CSI 300 - which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen - was down 0.15% at 3,448.73. The Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.36% to 2,024.28. The tech-heavy ChiNext declined 0.67% to 1,964.63.

The Peoples Bank of China injected CNY10 billion in seven-day reverse repos, CNY10 billion in 14-day reverse repos and CNY10 billion in 28-day reverse repos via open-market operations on Wednesday. This resulted in a net drain of CNY20 billion for the day, the tenth consecutive trading day that the PBOC has drained liquidity from the market via its OMOs. The PBOC has drained a net CNY60 billion so far this week. A total of CNY50 billion in outstanding reverse repos will mature for the remaining two trading days this week.

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine, Chinas largest drugmaker by market value, rose 0.4% in Shanghai. The company expects revenues to surge in the second half of this year and plans to expand overseas presence with deals of up to $2 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing Chairman Sun Piaoyang.

The Chinese currency renminbi, or yuan, firmed up against the U.S. dollar despite the Peoples Bank of China set the midpoint rate weaker than the psychologically important 6.9 level for the first time since Jan. 12. The gain was supported by corporate dollar sales as the market locked in profits after the Chinese currency breached the key 6.9-per-dollar level. The Peoples Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.9032 per dollar, weaker than the previous fix of 6.8957.

In the spot market, the yuan opened at 6.8995 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8996 at midday after hitting a low of 6.9045, 47 pips firmer than the previous late session close but 0.05% weaker than the midpoint.

Hong Kong Stocks close higher

The Hong Kong stock market closed up for third straight session, helped by Chinese trade data which fuelled optimism about robust consumption demand. The gain was led by mainland property developers, as well as a jump in ZTE Corp after the Chinese telecom equipment maker agreed to plead guilty in a U.S. sanctions case. The benchmark Hang Seng index added 0.4%, to 23,782.27, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.5%, to 10,280.31.

An index tracking Chinese property shares surged 3.4%, after the previous days 2.8% gain. Strong sales for February and belied speculation that a property tax was in the offing boosted Chinese real estate stocks, with China Overseas Land & Investment rising 2.7% and China Resources Land advancing 1.7%. Also leading advances in the property sector, Shimao Property jumped 10.6% following a 150% surge in last months sales. China Vanke and China Evergrande Group added at least 3%, extending their climb in the wake of upbeat February sales. China Merchants Land jumped 4.1% after reporting a more than three-fold increase in 2016 net profit. Shimao Property surged 10.6% after UBS Research raised its target price.

ZTE shares jumped around 6%, after it agreed to pay nearly $900 million and plead guilty to criminal charges for violating U.S. laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran and North Korea.

Heavyweight China Unicom Hong Kong added about 2.2% on news that the telecom operations restructuring reform proposals might soon be approved.

Resource stocks lost 0.3%, bucking the broad trend, as weakness in mainland commodities markets curbed demand.

TVB (00511) dived 3.7% after TLG Movie and Entertainment Group has withdrawn its proposal to make an offer for the shares of TVB.

Indian market ends with modest losses

Indian benchmark indices registered modest losses as investors were cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting in which policy makers are widely expected to raise interest rates. Investors also awaited outcome of the Uttar Pradesh election results, where a win by Prime Minister Narendra Modis party is expected to strengthen the recent firmness in local equities. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 97.62 points or 0.34% to settle at 28,901.94. The Nifty 50 index fell 22.60 points or 0.25% to settle at 8,924.30. The Sensex closed below the psychological 29,000 level after slipping below that level in intraday trade. Stocks of public sector banks declined. Metal and mining stocks edged lower.

Market sentiment was also sombre amid weak global cues in the wake of geopolitical tensions in Asia and amid two consecutive days of decline in US stock markets. Geopolitical tensions continued to weigh on market sentiment after North Korea over the weekend launched four missiles into the Sea of Japan. Also, China posting a rare trade deficit in February also added to global growth worries.

Hindalco Industries fell 1.38% to Rs 189.85. The capital raising committee of the company at its meeting held today, 8 March 2017, approved the closure of the issue period for the qualified institutional placement (QIP) today, 8 March 2017. The committee approved the issue price of Rs 189.45 per equity share. The floor price was earlier fixed at Rs 184.45 per share. The announcement was made during market hours today, 8 March 2017.

Tata Steel lost 1.89% to Rs 472.90. Tata Steel UK yesterday, 7 March 2017, informed employees it will close the British Steel Pension Scheme to future accrual with effect from 31 March 2017. From 1 April 2017, employees will save for their retirement through a new and competitive defined contribution pension scheme.

Kotak Mahindra Bank rose 0.88% after the bank said its board of directors has approved increase in ceiling limit for investment by foreign investors in the equity share capital of the bank to 42% from 40% earlier. The announcement was made during market hours today, 8 March 2017.

IndusInd Bank fell 0.23% after the bank said it has opened a branch at Sikar in Rajasthan. With the inauguration of this branch, the bank now has 5 branches in Sikar city. The announcement was made during market hours today, 8 March 2017.

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China Stocks down on profit booking
Mar 08,2017

Mainland China stock market ended lower on Wednesday, 08 March 2017, due to profit-taking after a two-day winning streak and lingering concerns over tighter liquidity. The Shanghai Composite Index closed the day down 0.05% at 3,240.66, while the CSI 300 - which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen - was down 0.15% at 3,448.73. The Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.36% to 2,024.28. The tech-heavy ChiNext declined 0.67% to 1,964.63.

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