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Breakfast Today

  • 21 Apr 17

Trumponomics went centre stage again yesterday evening as US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, picked up Donald Trump's campaign baton. During a speech at the Institute of International Finance Washington Policy Summit, he declared his confidence that the country's citizens will soon be enjoying the most significant tax code changes since Ronald Reagan. Promising much fewer tax brackets for individuals, he confirmed the sweeping proposals are now a top priority for the President. Mnuchin also expects to release a 'Regulatory Relief' report in early June and hopes the debt ceiling will be raised 'before the summer'. Telling his audience that whether or not the Healthcare Bill become law, "we're going to get tax reform done". Markets, of course, love such reflationary talk, even if many consider such plans are already jeopardised by failure to date to get any significant part of the President's revolutionary agenda through Congress. US stock indices nevertheless were climbing way before he spoke on Thursday, on the back of gains in financials and industrials. All three principal US indices rose broadly and convincingly, led by the NASDAQ on its way to achieving a new all-time high, as American Express added 5.4% having posted a smaller decline in profits than expected, while Industrials were also buoyant helped by CSX Corp spiking 6.8% as it exceeded Wall Street forecasts. Stabilising oil prices also helped sentiment, with US crude pushing 0.2% higher to $50.94 a barrel during the US session, after Saudi Arabia's energy minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is likely to reach an agreement to extend existing production cuts into the second half of the year. Asian equities picked up this improving confidence, with the Nikkei opening at its highest of the week and going on to gain more than 1% while the US$:Yen pared losses. The ASX followed behind and Hang Seng remained in positive territory, leaving just the Shanghai Composite once again nursing minor losses in continuing response to the Chinese government's efforts to curb speculative trading in the highly volatile index. Whether last night's presumed terrorist shooting on the Champs-Élysées might knock today's European opening, or change voting intentions ahead of Sunday's Presidential poll, remains to be seen. The STOXX Europe 600 had ended higher Thursday afternoon, led by the CAC-40, as investors become increasingly convinced independent centrist Emmanuel Macron will succeed in becoming the country's new leader, while Eurozone consumer confidence improved for a second straight month in April, as the flash index rose to -3.6 from -5. UK macro releases today include March Retail Sales figures, while the EU provides its February Current Account and Markit Manufacturing and Composite PMI for April. The US also releases its own April Markit data, Existing Homes Sales and the Baker Hughes US Oil Rig Count. FOMC Member Neel Karkashi is also due to make a speech. UK corporates due to release earnings or trading updates today include Close Brothers (CBG.L), Record (REC.L) and Bonmarche Holdings (BON.L). An unsettled background will leave London investors somewhat perplexed this morning, as they try to weight ramifications both of latest news and anticipations ahead of Sunday's important vote. The FTSE-100 is seen simply hitching a ride on the overnight markets, with an opening gain of 5 to 10 points.

Breakfast Today

  • 19 Apr 17

That sure took everyone by surprise! The FTSE-100 index plummeted 2.5% yesterday, its worst fall since the aftermath of the EU referendum pushing it back to February’s low, as market weighed a 1.6% jump in Sterling to a four-month peak against the US$ following Theresa May’s announcement of a snap general election on June 8th. Behind the PM’s ‘one-issue’ campaign is the prospect of an increased majority for the ruling Conservatives with the expectation this will strengthen the Government’s hand with forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Tumbling iron ore prices, which fell to a near six-month low on Tuesday, also contributed to the fall and left a number of major mining stocks were severely punished. BHP Billiton, Glencore and Anglo American, for example, all lost more than 5% during the European session. US indices tracked this with banking and health-care sectors sliding as individual quarterly results disappointed. Leading the former was Goldman Sachs Group, whose trading gains fell short of those recently posted by peers, while Johnson & Johnson tumbled after it detailed what analysts considered to be rather underwhelming sales. After a batch of disappointing recent US macro releases and a sharp rise in geopolitical tensions, with more than 60 firms in the S&P 500 expected to report this week, including more top tier banks and major industrials, continued evidence of good corporate health remains absolutely key to equities sustaining their positive momentum. Reflecting on this, some investors yesterday took opportunity yesterday to lock-in profits of recent months, reinvesting instead into safe havens like Gold, the Yen and Government Bonds. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries, for example, fell to 2.177%, from 2.248% Monday, its lowest close since 10th November. Asian equities also suffered broad declines this morning amid continuing regional tensions, led by the Shanghai Composite Index which was down more than 1% to a two-month low, putting losses since Friday at more than 3%; elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell around 0.5%, while the Nikkei slipped between gains and losses to end marginally in the positive helped by a softer Yen. National security concerns meanwhile remain high and rising, with the US being forced overnight to intercept Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska for the first time since 2015, while Washington expressed concerns regarding Iran’s role in supporting terrorism and two men were detained on suspicion of planning an imminent terror attack in the French city of Marseille after pledging allegiance to Islamic State. Traders consider the US$ will remain under pressure until next Tuesday’s Military Foundation Day in North Korea, which some believe may be the most obvious day for premier Kim Jong-un to make a defiant military gesture to Donald Trump’s administration. Selling pressure in crude futures continued during the Asian session, amid renewed worries about oversupply following weeks of gains on hopes of more constrained global output. UK corporates due to release earnings or trading updates today include AB Foods (ABF.L), Burberry group (BRBY.L), Bunzl (BNZL.L), Rio Tinto (RIO.L) and Rentokil Initial (RTO.L). No macro releases are due from the UK on Wednesday, but the EU is due to publish its harmonised Consumer Prices for March along with its February trade balance. The US meanwhile is schedule to provide its MBA Mortgage Applications and the Fed Beige Book. With investors convinced that Theresa May will enjoy an improved majority post 8th June, Sterling may well continue to appreciate against the presently out of favour US$ and Euro. This, along with heightened international uncertainty reducing appetite for risk, suggests equities in London will again open weaker once again, with the FTSE-100 seen down over 20 points in early trade.

ASX Junior Miner - Excellent Drilling Results - Gold - WA - Thundelarra (ASX: THX)

  • 13 Apr 17

GARDEN GULLY CONTINUES TO BLOOM Ongoing work by Thundelarra Limited (ASX: THX, “Thundelarra” or “the Company”) has continued to return excellent results from their Garden Gully Gold Project (“Garden Gully” or “the Project”), located 20km from Meekatharra in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The Project, which was picked up in late 2015, has seen little historical work, and only limited follow up from completed reconnaissance activities, however is located in a prolific gold producing region and near operating mills and infrastructure. The results achieved by Thundelarra carry on from the excellent results (including 7m @ 24.5g/t Au) from the initial drilling programme as reported in our October 2016 Initiation Report, and have confirmed the potential for the Project to host a major deposit. The third programme of drilling over a number of the prospects has recently been completed, with interpretations and assaying currently under way. KEY POINTS Excellent drilling results: Since our October 2016 Initiation Report, the Garden Gully gold project, located near Meekatharra in Western Australia has continued to deliver very positive results, including an intersection of 80m @ 1.9g/t Au at the Lydia prospect. Multiple prospects: The work has identified multiple prospects, with mineralisation at all being open, and with work only in early stages. Analogies to known deposits: The results of work to date and interpretations of the geology have highlighted the analogies and similarities to defined resources in the Archaean of Western Australia, including Gold Road’s (ASX: GOR) Gruyere deposit and Gascoyne Resources’ (ASX: GCY) Gilbeys deposit. Also prospective for VMS mineralisation: Historic work at Garden Gully, along with recent interpretations, indicates the potential for volcanogenic massive sulphide (“VMS”) mineralisation, with results of this work including anomalous base metal geochemistry in shallow drilling, conductive horizons (potentially reflecting sulphide-rich units) and the postulated presence of a buried internal granite (a driver for a VMS system). Early days yet: Exploration is at a relatively early stage – the Project has seen little historical drilling, and thus there is significant potential to define yet more prospects and to delineate significant mineralisation at the known prospects. Scientific approach: Thundelarra take a rigorous scientific approach to exploration, and do not just drill for the sake of drilling – programmes are planned based on a thorough interpretation of exploration data. Strong management and technical team with skin in the game: The Company’s personnel, including board, management and technical team have extensive technical and financial experience in the junior resources sector; in addition they have significant shareholdings in the Company, thus aligning their interests with those of other shareholders. News flow: With results from the recent drilling at Garden Gully and updates expected from Red Bore there will be steady news flow over coming months. Leveraged to exploration success – With an EV of $20 million, Thundelarra is well leveraged to exploration success – notable examples over the past few years include Sandfire’s 2008 Doolgunna VMS discovery, which took the price from $0.05 to $4.08 on the initial run, with subsequent movements to over $8.00/share, Sandfire’s/Talisman’s (ASX: TLM) Monty VMS discovery, which took Talisman from A$0.15 to A$0.785 in May-July 2015, and Breaker Resources (ASX: BRB) making the recent Lake Roe gold discovery that has moved its share price from A$0.06 to a high of $0.76 over the twelve months to September 2016.

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