Asia-Pacific stocks are mixed as US inflation data remains in focus

The Bank of Japan will review the side effects of monetary easing, a local newspaper reports

The Bank of Japan will examine the side effects of monetary easing at its policy meeting next week, local newspaper Yomiuri reports.

“This is because the market interest rate has remained distorted even after the policy revision at the end of last year,” Yomiuri said.

The central bank last month widened the yield curve tolerance for 10-year JGBs to 0.5% on either side of the 0% target from the previous range of 0.25%.

It last strengthened by 0.63% to 131.65 against the Japanese yen.

– Lee Yingshan

China’s consumer price index rose 1.8% in December

Inflation in China accelerated to 1.8% in December from a year earlier as food prices rose, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

“The prices of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits increased by 7.0% and 4.7%, respectively,” the information says.

The CPI figure was in line with Reuters expectations and higher than the previous month’s reading of 1.6%.

The reading also improved, not falling 0.2%, on par with November.

China’s producer price index fell 0.7% in December from a year earlier, worse than expectations for a 0.1% decline.

– Lee Yingshan

CNBC Pro: This global stock market is undervalued and offers a ‘very good’ entry point for investors, top stock strategist

Shares of the global bourse are trading at a “very good” entry point for investors after the recent slide in the company’s shares, according to a fund strategist.

Hannah Gooch-Peters, global equity investment analyst at Sanlam Investments, said the stock market had performed well last year due to volatility in fixed income markets and high spot commodity prices.

Gooch-Peters, who is part of the team behind the outperforming Sanlam Global High Quality Fund, said the company is an attractive long-term investment due to its large recurring business model.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

Australia’s November trade surplus beats expectations

Australia reported a trade surplus of A$13.2 billion (about $9.1 million) for November, beating a Reuters forecast of AU$10.4 billion.

The November figure also shows an increase from October’s trade surplus of AU$12.74 billion.

In November, Australia’s imports fell by 1.5% and exports by 0.4% from October.

– Lee Yingshan

CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley calls its ‘top pick’ in Chinese tech – and gives it more than 70% upside

China’s tech sector has come under pressure in recent years thanks to regulatory pressures and the fallout from the country’s zero-Covid policy.

But Wall Street is showing renewed love for Chinese tech stocks, with Morgan Stanley calling it its “top pick” in the sector.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Xavier Ong

Cryptocurrencies trade higher after Binance announces hiring spree

Cryptocurrencies Cryptocurrencies gained after Binance announced plans to increase staff by 15% to 30% in 2023.

Bitcoin rose 2.78% to $17,932.69, according to Coin Metrics. Ether was last traded at $1,388.98, up 3.86%.

Binance’s move is in contrast to rivals such as Coinbase, Kraken and Huobi, which have laid off large numbers of staff during the cryptocurrency crisis.

– Lee Yingshan

Stocks close higher as investors brace for Thursday’s inflation reading

Stocks ended higher on Wednesday as investors took an optimistic stance ahead of Thursday’s CPI report.

The Nasdaq Composite It marked a four-day streak, gaining 1.8%. A rally of this length has not been seen in the tech-heavy index since September.

The Dow It ended up more than 260 points or 0.8%.

The S&P 500 It added 1.3%. All 11 sectors of the broad index ended the day led by real estate with a gain of 3.6%.

– Alex Harring

Natural gas has reached the lowest level not seen since 2021

Natural gas It hit a low not seen since 2021 in Wednesday’s trade.

The commodity fell 1.1% to $3,598.

At one point, it fell to $3,442. This is a low not seen since June 24, 2021, when natural gas fell to $3,415.

Natural gas has decreased by 18.9% since the beginning of 2023.

– Gina Francolla, Alex Harring

The Fed’s reading suggests inflation may be hotter than the Street expects

Thursday’s consumer price index report may show inflation is continuing at a faster pace than Wall Street expected, according to the Cleveland Fed.

The Central Bank’s Inflation Nowcasting tracker points to headline CPI rising at a faster 0.1% month-on-month, with core, volatile food and energy prices excluding an increase of 0.5%.

Both figures beat Dow Jones consensus estimates for a 0.1% decline in headlines and a 0.3% gain in core.

On an annualized basis, the Cleveland Fed model projects a headline gain of 6.6% and a core of 5.9%, compared with Dow Jones estimates of 6.5% and 5.7%, respectively.

– Jeff Cox

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