Thursday, March 18, 2010

Asia/Pacific Weekly Preview $MS [morgan stanley research] $EWH

Hong Kong – Inflation (Mar 22) and Trade (Mar 25) for February: We expect a significant pickup in headline inflation in February (we forecast composite CPI +2.5% YoY in Feb vs +1% in Jan), primarily due to the Lunar New Year effect (on food, holiday and entertainment expenses). We also believe that the private housing rent component in the CPI has started to gain YoY, after contributing negatively to the headline in the preceding three months. In February’s trade data, the Lunar New Year effect may undermine the boost from the low base effect, so we expect milder YoY gains in both exports (we forecast +13.5% in Feb vs +18.4% in Jan) and imports (+22% vs +39.5%) than in January, yielding yet another record trade deficit (HK$40 bn).

Singapore – Industrial Production (Mar 26): Volatile biomed tends to inject noise into the headline IPI numbers. Thus, we prefer to focus on IP-ex biomed trend. We expect the latter to sustain buoyant momentum supported by improved external environment. However, February numbers may show some moderation on a %YoY basis, given the base
CNY-timing induced base effects.


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