Fast Asia Open: Tough calls

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G’day, mates. Oh, that whole US-Australia kerfuffle? No big deal, apparently.

US President Donald Trump has told Americans not to worry about “tough phone conversations” he has had with foreign leaders following reports of a combative and unexpectedly short call with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

But Uber appears to have received enough angry calls about the recent executive order on immigration to prompt its chief executive Travis Kalanick to quit Mr Trump’s business advisory council on the eve of its first meeting.

Equities investors Down Under didn’t seem terribly perturbed, in any case, as Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index has kicked off the day just 0.1 per cent lower. Futures tip Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index to open down 0.6 per cent and Tokyo’s broad Topix index to open 0.5 per cent higher. Chinese markets are set to resume trading after a long lunar new year holiday.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 index closed up 0.1 per cent, while the FTS 100 ended Thursday up 0.5 per cent.

Corporate earnings reports out on Friday include Itochu (12.30), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (13.00), Honda Motor (14.00), Yahoo Japan (14.00) and Sharp (14.00).

The economic calendar hopes you like purchasing managers’ indices, because that’s what you’re getting (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.00: Bank of Japan minutes
  • 08.00: ANZ world commodity price index
  • 08.30: Japan Nikkei services and composite PMIs
  • 08.30: Hong Kong Nikkei PMI
  • 09.45: China Caixin manufacturing PMI
  • 13.00: India Nikkei services and composite PMIs
  • 15.30: Thailand foreign reserves
  • 16.30: Hong Kong retail sales
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