China technology, healthcare, and property leading gains in Hong Kong
Chinese technology and healthcare stocks listed in Hong Kong led gains in the Hang Seng index alongside property stocks in Wednesday’s trading session.
Country Garden Services and Longfor Group saw the most gains, with both rising nearly 10% in Wednesday’s afternoon trade. Alibaba Health Information Technology also rose 8.87% and Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group gained 7.42%.
Baidu rose 6.97% and Alibaba traded 6.88% higher after Ant received approval to expand its consumer finance business. Netease shares also rose 5.23% in the afternoon trade.
– Jihye Lee
Gold prices inch up after notching 6-month high
Gold prices edged higher after notching a six-month high in anticipation of the Fed’s latest policy minutes.
Spot gold prices inched up 0.36% to $1,845.93 per ounce during Asia market hours, and U.S. gold futures were up 0.35% at $1,852.10.
Prices of gold had been on an overall rise since the start of November on the back of rising recession expectations and more gold purchases from central banks.
—Elliot Smith, Lee Ying Shan
Oil prices slump ahead of Fed meeting, Saudi Arabia’s potential oil price cut to Asia
Oil prices dipped as traders looked ahead to Fed minutes and weighed Saudi Arabia’s considerations of trimming prices for its Arab Light crude grade to Asia next month, Reuters reported.
Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco is weighing slashing its medium sour grade by around $1.50 a barrel, the report said.
Brent crude futures declined 0.16% to stand at $81.97 per barrel. Similarly, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate lost 0.34% to $76.67 per barrel.
—Lee Ying Shan
Alibaba shares rise after Ant Group receives approval for capital plan
Shares of Alibaba listed in Hong Kong rose 7.11% in Wednesday’s morning trade – after China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission approved a plan for Ant Group’s capital expansion plan for its consumer financial unit based in Chongqing.
According to a notice posted last week, Chinese regulators gave the greenlight to billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology firm to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion).
Ant Group is an affiliate of Alibaba in which the e-commerce giant owns 33%. Ant Group runs the Alipay mobile payments wallet in China. Alibaba’s shares rose 2.78% on Tuesday, the first trading session after the notice was posted.
Other companies named in the notice included Hangzhou Jintou Digital Technology Group, Nanyang Commercial Bank, Zhejiang Sunny Optical and China Huarong Asset management.
The approval marks progress in the state-led regulatory overhaul of the fintech giant.
– Jihye Lee, Evelyn Cheng
CNBC Pro: Analysts see these 10 global renewable energy stocks rising despite higher rates with one offering 50% upside
Skyrocketing energy costs have spurred investment in renewable energy across the world.
Swiss investment bank UBS named 10 prominent renewable energy players capitalizing on the trend and are set to outperform over the next year.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Ganesh Rao
Japan’s manufacturing activity marks weakest in more than two years
The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing manager’s index for December posted a reading of 48.9, marking a second consecutive month in contraction territory.
The reading inched down from November’s 49.0, and marked the weakest figure since October 2020’s figure of 48.70.
The sustained contractions in production was attributed to “weak global economic trends,” the report stated.
—Lee Ying Shan
CNBC Pro screens for low-volatility stocks amid fears of a bumpy ride ahead
Stock markets endured a horrible 2022 as major indexes clocked their worst performances in more than a decade.
As market pros warn investors of bumpy times ahead, CNBC Pro used FactSet data to screen for low-volatility stocks that not only beat the market in 2022 but are expected to rise further this year.
Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Zavier Ong
Tesla’s Asia suppliers fall after deliveries report
Tesla’s suppliers in Asia fell after it reported its fourth-quarter vehicle production and delivery numbers for 2022 that fell short of expectations.
The deliveries report showed 405,278 total deliveries for the quarter and 1.31 million total deliveries for the year, lower than expectations to see around 427,000 deliveries for the final quarter of the year.
Japan’s Panasonic lost 1.82% in early Asia trade – South Korea’s LG Chem fell 0.17% in earlier hours and Samsung SDI shed about 2%.
Shenzhen-listed shares of Contemporary Amperex Technology, or also known as CATL, fell 1.7%. Shares of Tesla closed down 12% on Tuesday on Wall Street.
– Ashley Capoot, Jihye Lee
CNBC Pro: Wall Street is bullish on this chip giant, with Morgan Stanley giving it 55% upside
The once-hot chip sector suffered in 2022, but Wall Street looks to be turning more optimistic on semiconductor stocks for the year ahead.
Recently, several pros have urged investors to take a longer-term view on the sector, given the importance of chips in several key secular trends.
Analysts named one stock in particular they’re bullish on, citing its earnings potential and future profitability.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Weizhen Tan
Apple’s Asia suppliers trade mostly up in spite of production cut reports
U.S. manufacturing PMI slips at fastest rate since May 2020
The U.S. manufacturing price managers’ index, a measure of output, fell at the fastest rate in December since May 2020, according to S&P Global.
The index was 46.2 in December, down from 47.7 in November, according to data released Tuesday. Lower prices and contracting production levels weighed on the index. In addition, December saw a sharper than expected decline on new sales, with companies noting uncertainty due to the economic backdrop.
Tesla sheds 13%, hits new 52-week low
The stock slipped more than 13%, hitting levels not seen since August 2020. The slide is coming off the worst annual performance for the stock – Tesla fell 65% in 2022.
Apple market cap falls below $2 trillion
A selloff in Apple shares pushed the iPhone maker’s market capitalization below $2 trillion on Tuesday.
Shares shed 4% amid news that it’s reportedly cutting production on some items due to weak demand. Concerns over iPhone supply during the holiday period have mounted in recent weeks and pressured shares as shutdowns rippled through Apple’s major supplier in China.
The drop in shares contrasts a year ago, when Apple became the first U.S. company to hit a $3 trillion market cap.
Apple was the last of the mega cap technology stocks to hover above the $2 trillion level.
— Samantha Subin
U.S. will avoid recession in 2023, Goldman Sachs says
Goldman Sachs has an out-of-consensus forecast for the U.S. economy in 2023.
“Our economists continue to believe that the US will avoid recession as the Fed successfully engineers a soft landing of the economy,” analysts wrote Tuesday.
“This out-of-consensus forecast partly reflects our view that a period of below-potential growth is enough to gradually rebalance the labor market and dampen wage and price pressures,” the note said. “But it also reflects our analysis that indicates that the drag from fiscal and monetary policy tightening will diminish sharply next year, in contrast to the consensus view that the lagged effects of interest rate hikes will cause a recession in 2023.”
In addition, the bank today raised its 4Q22 GDP growth forecast by 10bp to +2.1% on the back of a surprisingly strong November Construction Spending release
“The disconnect between the resilience of the US economy in 2022 and the downdraft experienced by stocks is has been a key narrative of the past year,” Goldman said. “And, whether this disconnect continues, or the economy matches the market downdraft, or the market rebounds in the wake of an economic soft landing may be at least part of the narrative of 2023.”