Asia-Pacific shares trade higher ahead of US inflation report

Cryptocurrencies trade higher even as Coinbase announces layoffs

Cryptocurrencies rose after the cryptocurrency company Coinbase has announced plans to cut 20% of its workforce as it seeks to conserve cash during the cryptocurrency market downturn.

Bitcoin It last traded up 1.55% at $17,459.63, according to Coin Metrics. Ether gained 1% to $1,337.85.

Other digital coins such as Cronos and Cardano also posted gains.

CEO Brian Armstrong said there was “no way” to increase the chances of “doing well in every scenario” without cutting costs and reducing headcount.

-Li Ying Shan, Kate Rooney

Philippine inflation to fall to 2% by 2024, says finance secretary

Inflation in the Philippines is expected to return to the government’s target range within two years, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

Diokno told CNBC on the sidelines of the Asia Financial Forum in Hong Kong that he is confident that average inflation for 2023 will be between 2.5 and 4.5 percent.

Headline inflation in the Philippines remains high, rising to 8.1% in December 2022 from 8% a month earlier, according to government data.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla announced on Monday that interest rates will be increased by another 25 to 50 basis points in February. Diokno added that he expects the central bank to turn around sometime this year.

“Also, there is a possibility that we will be cut at some point this year because we may have exceeded the limit,” he said.

– Charmaine Jacob

Consumer prices in Australia rose 7.3% in November on the back of rising housing and food prices

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian consumer price index rose 7.3% year-on-year in November, suggesting that inflationary pressures have not yet eased.

The figure was in line with Reuters expectations and higher than the 6.9% reading last month.

Housing, food and transportation are among the key components driving growth, the statement said.

Separately, Australia reported a 1.4% increase in November sales compared to a month ago, thanks to Black Friday sales.

– Lee Yingshan

CNBC Pro: This global ETF is the only fund that has posted gains every year for the past decade

The only stock ETF with positive returns every year over the past decade has been revealed by CNBC Pro.

It is the only fund out of nearly 7,000 stock ETFs worldwide audited by CNBC Pro to not have a negative return for a single year between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2022.

It offered investors a compound annual growth rate of 14% over the same period, significantly more than broader index-tracking funds, according to Coyfin data.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

The unemployment rate in South Korea has risen to the highest level in the last 11 months

South Korea’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3% in December, the highest level in 11 months, according to government data.

This indicator is 2.9% higher than in November.

Despite the higher unemployment figure, the total employed population in 2022 will reach 28.089 million, up from 816,000 a year ago.

– Lee Ying Shan, Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: ‘A costly mistake: Citi says it’s stopped raising cash, reveals two areas to invest

Investors endured a tough 2022 as stocks and bonds tumbled amid broader market turmoil.

While many have taken refuge in the relative safety of cash, Citi says now is the time to put it to work, naming two ways to deploy it for higher returns.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Xavier Ong

The Fed should remain politically independent while fighting inflation, Powell says

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday stressed the importance of keeping the central bank free from political influence as it battles persistently high inflation.

In a speech at Sweden’s Riksbank, Powell noted that stabilizing prices requires taking tough decisions that may be politically unpopular.

“Price stability is the foundation of a healthy economy and provides immeasurable benefits to the public over time. But restoring price stability when inflation is high may require unpopular measures in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy.” the chairman said in his prepared speech.

The lack of direct political control over our decisions allows us to take these necessary actions without considering short-term political factors,” he added.

– Jeff Cox

Copper reached its highest price since June

Copper It reached a high level not seen since June.

The metal gained slightly less than 1.3% to settle at $4.0775. It rose to $4.0835, the highest since reaching $4.1160 on June 17.

Copper has gained nearly 7% since 2023.

– Gina Francolla, Alex Harring

Coinbase to cut 20% of workforce

Shares of Coinbase gained 6% after the cryptocurrency operator announced plans to cut 20% of its workforce to cut costs.

The layoffs will affect 950 jobs and mark the second round of layoffs from the company in recent months. Coinbase said it grew “too quickly” during the bull market, laying off 18% of its workforce in June in preparation for a potential recession and crypto winter.

Cryptocurrency markets have been under pressure following the bankruptcy of FTX, one of the industry’s largest operators.

Coinbase said the new round of layoffs will reduce operating expenses by 25% for the quarter ending in March, according to a new regulatory filing.

– Kate Rooney, Samantha Subin

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