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Asia morning update - data watch

The start of the week for Asia markets marks the bridge between a week of strong gains for global equities and the uncertainties that prowl ahead as US earnings season begins.

Amid the mixed state expected, regional indices would also have to contend with China’s December trade data in the day.

US CPI hits bulls eye

As told in our week ahead, what could be a real shot at a recovery in sentiment from last week would be tested this week with US earnings, politics and more growth indicators to mar the situation. As far as US indicators have suggested, the US 500 remains stalled ahead of the 2600 barrier, flatlining in Friday’s session in anticipation. The key US inflation reading for December fell in line with expectations where headline CPI slipped below 2.0% to match the 1.9% year-on-year (YoY) consensus just as the core reading remained unchanged from previous. This had provided little impetus for market movements, backing the data-driven Federal Reserve in their suggested patience.

Watch Citibank for bank stocks

The above said, the watch will be on for the first of bank earnings from Citibank before the market open on Monday in the US. Being the first of the largest banks in the US to release their Q4 performance, Citibank’s results would likely be taken as a bellwether for its counterparts and find the impact trickling across share prices. Not only so, this is expected to cut across to Asia markets where banking stocks take up the lion’s share for the likes of the local Straits Times Index in Singapore. As the final dose of the fiscal policy boost exhaust in year-on-year comparison in Q4, the forward guidance would play equal parts alongside the match up to expectation for the results in implicating prices, one to watch. Once again, to capture the moves in the US, Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund would be one to track.

Mixed open for Asia

Asia markets are expected to commence the session mixed this morning with the uninspiring leads from the US coupled with the wait for the Chinese trade data underscoring. While Japan is away on Monday, the Australia 200 had reflected moderate upsides at the open. That said, the rest of Asia could see a poorer start. Following disappointing official and private manufacturing PMI releases for December, the risk is to the downside for the trade data from China this morning, which could once again invoke growth concerns. A materialization of which would nevertheless only cap the upsides for the headway made across the likes of the Hang Seng Investment Index Funds Series - H-Share Index ETF and the SPDR Straits Times Index ETF as the wait continues for US earnings.

Friday: S&P 500 -0.01%; DJIA -0.02%; DAX -0.31%; FTSE -0.36%

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