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DJ Global Equities Roundup: Market Talk

· 02/04/2021 21:06

The latest Market Talks covering Equities. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires throughout the day.

2106 ET - Bursa Malaysia's shares have soared about 14% in the past three weeks, and UOB Kay Hian thinks this has priced in robust average daily trading value driven by the low-interest-rate environment. The brokerage believes the stock-exchange operator's current risk-reward is balanced, and downgrades Bursa's rating to hold from buy. Nonetheless, UOB KH maintains its target price at MYR9.10 to factor in expectations of a slight moderation in average daily trading value this year from an exceedingly high base in 2020. Shares are unchanged at MYR9.38. (chester.tay@wsj.com)

2105 ET - KB Financial Group's 2021 earnings may get support from lower credit costs, after it had preemptively set aside extra provisions in 4Q for possible loan losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Hyundai Motor Securities says. The brokerage expects KB's 4Q early-retirement payments to some employees will help ease pressure from future restructuring costs. The brokerage forecasts KB's operating profit to increase 12% in 2021 on steady net-interest and fee incomes, versus a 2.8% rise in 2020, as it lifts the stock's target by 7.7% to KRW56,000 and maintains a buy rating. Shares rise 3.5% to KRW43,500. (kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com)

2049 ET - Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index is up 0.8% at 29337.04 in early trade. Galaxy Entertainment is leading the gains with its shares up 3.2%. Tech stocks are mixed. Meituan adds nearly 2% and Tencent rises 1.1%, while Alibaba slips 1.0%. Hong Kong stocks seem to lack positive catalysts in the short term, KGI Securities says, citing a less expansionary monetary policy in China and a stronger USD. In the broader Hong Kong market, shares of Chinese video-app operator Kuaishou Technology nearly triple on their debut, the latest IPO to surge in the Asian financial hub. (martin.mou@wsj.com)

2015 ET - Malaysia's benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rises 0.3% to 1589.40 on optimism that the eventual roll-out of vaccinations later this year will aid economic recovery, says TA Securities. It says this should support recovery plays in the property, construction and oil and gas sectors. Genting Bhd gains 1.4%, Petronas Chemicals rises 1.3% and Genting Malaysia climbs 1.2%. Supermax Corp. is down 0.9% and RHB Bank falls 0.8%. (chester.tay@wsj.com)

2012 ET - Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index is flat at 2906.75 in early trade after opening higher, with consumer stocks offering some support.Technically, the index is testing support at 2870, and a clear break below this level would trigger a further decline toward 2795, Trading Central says. It expects 2965, which is around the 20-day moving average, to continue to hold as key resistance. Thai Beverage is among the best performers and is up 2.5%, following news that it plans to spin off and list its beer business on the Singapore Exchange. Among other consumer stocks, Wilmar International gains 0.4% and Dairy Farm International is 0.2% higher. (justina.lee@wsj.com)

1949 ET - South Korea's stock benchmark Kospi is up 1.1% at 3122.44 in early trade, led by gains in chemical, financial and pharmaceutical companies. Higher oil prices and better-than-expected U.S. jobs data boost investor sentiment. Kumho Petro Chemical is up 7.9% and LG Chem is 2.8% higher. Banking stocks are also rising, with KB Financial up 2.1% after its solid 4Q earnings and Hana Financial Group is 3.6% higher ahead of its earnings release. Biopharma company Celltrion Inc. gains 2.3% as Korean authorities are due to announce its review of the firm's Covid-19 antibody treatment candidate today. (kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com)

1934 ET - Japanese stocks are up broadly as the yen weakens and hopes for earnings recovery continue. Auto shares are rising sharply. Subaru Corp. is up 6.5% and Nissan Motor is 4.9% higher. USD/JPY is at 105.57, up from 105.14 as of Thursday's Tokyo stock market close. Meanwhile, NTT Data is up 9.1% after its nine-month net profit rose 20%. Earnings are closely watched, including those from Mitsui Fudosan, Nippon Steel and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone due later in the day. Investors are looking for more positive surprises before the benchmark index can rise above 29000. The Nikkei Stock Average is up 1.0% at 28636.80. (kosaku.narioka@wsj.com; @kosakunarioka)

1914 ET - Former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is part of a group trying to raise about $500M through a so-called blank-check company looking for investments in sports, media, entertainment, health and wellness and consumer technology--but not professional sports franchises, according to a securities filing. Rodriguez and fiancée Jennifer Lopez had tried to buy the New York Mets last year. Rodriguez is Slam Corp.'s CEO and Blackstone-backed Antara Capital's Himanshu Gulati is the chairman. Marc Lore, who recently stepped down as Walmart's U.S. e-commerce chief, is a special advisor. (maria.armental@wsj.com)

1849 ET - Japanese stocks may rise on hopes for corporate earnings recoveries and a weaker yen. Nikkei futures open up 230 points at 28620 on the SGX. USD/JPY is at 105.55, up from 105.14 as of Thursday's Tokyo stock market close. Some Japanese exporters' shares may benefit from the yen's recent trend weaker. Mitsui Fudosan, Nippon Steel, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone are set to report their results later in the day, among other big companies. The Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.1% at 28341.95 on Thursday. (kosaku.narioka@wsj.com)

1820 ET [Dow Jones] -- The pace at which Afterpay is adding merchants to its U.S. online portal has slowed over recent months, potentially due to the impact of Covid-19, Macquarie says. The investment bank says its proprietary merchant data show slowing momentum in the U.S., which it suggests could potentially lead to slower customer additions and slower transaction volume growth. Macquarie says merchant growth has been strongest in Australia, albeit driven by small- and medium-sized merchants. Macquarie retains its neutral rating and A$140.00 target price on the stock, which is 2.4% higher at A$149.85. (stuart.condie@wsj.com; @StuartLCondie)

1814 ET [Dow Jones] -- While CBA has the potential for reduced loan losses, Morgan Stanley says there may be risks to its 1H 2021 pre-provision profit forecast of A$6.64 billion. The investment bank thinks margin decline, the recovery in non-interest income, commentary on costs, credit quality and provisioning trends, and capital management plans will be key areas of focus when the Australian major bank issues its 1H results later this month. MS forecasts a dividend of 155 Australian cents, but share buyback. "In our view, any commentary on the medium-term payout ratio would be important," it says. CBA rises 1.8% to A$88.58. (alice.uribe@wsj.com)

1813 ET - RBA Governor Philip Lowe has told financial markets to put aside any talk of near-term tapering of QE or withdrawal of other forms of monetary stimulus. Lowe has told parliament that day will eventually come, but there is a long road ahead for the economic recovery. The cash rate will remain at 0.1% for as long as necessary, for now that could be as far out 2024. Lowe is conscious that low rate will feed property speculation, but he stands ready to propose a tightening of bank mortgage lending criteria if needed. The RBA has no appetite for a move toward negative interest rates. (james.glynn@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 04, 2021 21:06 ET (02:06 GMT)

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