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Asia-Pacific markets are trading mixed as the region kicks into 2023




India’s cement stocks will perform well on public infrastructure spending, says IIFL Securities

India’s domestic cement stocks are set to rise on increased government spending on infrastructure, said Sanjiv Bhasin, director of investment management firm IIFL Securities.

“Government expenditure on both commercial and real estate, and [developments on] the infrastructure, is going to see cement companies doing well,” Bhasin said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

He said that his firm is positive about companies such as Larsen & Toubro, Ultratech Indiaand Kotak Mahindra Bankadding that cement prices in India are expected to rise as the country enters a period of high levels of construction activity.

Asia-Pacific markets are trading mixed as the region kicks into 2023

Australian miners, metal prices fall as China Covid cases rise

Shares in Australian-listed mining companies fell in afternoon trade on Tuesday as metals prices fell in Shanghai as Covid infections surged in mainland China.

The February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.7% to 65,670 yuan a tonne while aluminum fell 2.7% to 18,175 yuan a tonne.

Sandfire resources inched 0.18% lower while Oz minerals traded 0.25% higher – Rio Tinto fell more than 1% while Yancoal Australia lost more than 4.6% and Whitehaven fell 5.89 percent. Fortescue Metals lost 0.73% and South32 traded 0.5% lower.

– Jihye Lee

Consumer growth in Asia remains a “massive challenge” for the region, the Singapore Exchange says

Inflation in Asia may peak lower and earlier than in the US and Europe, says strategist

Consumer growth in Asia remains a “massive challenge” for the region, as economic growth is heavily dependent on trade, said Geoff Howie, market strategist at the Singapore Exchange.

Howie pointed to South Korea and Taiwan’s decline in exports since May 2021, as well as Singapore’s non-oil exports falling 14.6% in November.

It has been “a lot dependent on trade and technology, and we expect moderation in global trade,” he said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday. “Consumer growth is an area we really have to watch,” Howie said.

– Charmaine Jacob

‘Rough first half, better second half for tech stocks’: Jefferies shares outlook for 2023

Tech stocks will face a difficult environment in the first half of 2023, says analyst

The first half of 2023 is going to be a “tough setup” for tech stocks, Brent Thill, managing director and senior analyst at investment firm Jefferies, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

“You still have the financial overhang that’s going to affect earnings as we go into the beginning of this year. Companies have to lower numbers and expectations are still falling,” Thill said.

He estimates that things will turn around in the second half of 2023, as it “takes time” for effects from macroeconomic conditions such as rising interest rates to wind down and “investors start to look at 2024 numbers being reset”.

“I think the worst-case scenario is that 2023 could be a total washout,” Thill said, adding that Jefferies expects a recession to hit in the third quarter, which is later than most expect.

– Sheila Chiang

Oil prices will fall to $70 levels by the end of 2023, analyst says

The price of Brent crude will fall to the lower end of $70 a barrel by the end of the year, according to Citi’s global head of commodity research, Ed Morse, adding that volatility around oil markets will remain.

“We expect volatility to be about the same as last year,” Morse said. “We see Brent prices going down towards the end of the year to the low 70s,” he estimated.

A number of oil-producing countries are facing extreme difficulties, Morse said. He also expects oil demand to be kept low due to a prolonged recession in China.

Developments in Russia’s war against Ukraine will also increase price volatility, Morse added.

Brent crude fell 0.43% to $85.57 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude traded down 0.39% at $79.95.

– Lee Ying Shan

Japanese yen at strongest level in seven months

The Japanese yen hovered around their strongest levels since early June, Refinitiv data showed.

The currency last traded at 129.7 against the US dollar after strengthening past the key technical level of 130.4 last seen in August. Late last year, the yen weakened significantly, reaching its weakest levels in 32 years.

The currency weakened past 151 against the dollar in mid-October as the Bank of Japan maintained its ultra dovish monetary policy and yield curve control strategy. But the yen has since strengthened after the central bank widened the YCC band last month.

– Jihye Lee

China’s Caixin PMI shows further decline in factory activity

China’s factory activity slipped further into contraction territory in December, a private sector survey showed.

The Caixin/Markit producer PMI fell further to 49 in December after registering 49.4 in November – still below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

The survey saw improved optimism among businesses, the release said, adding that firms expressed confidence in China’s economic recovery following the relaxation of most of its strict Covid measures.

Separately, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said the official manufacturing PMI fell to 47 for the month, marking the biggest drop since the start of the Covid outbreak in January 2020.

– Jihye Lee

Singapore’s economy grew 3.8% in 2022

Singapore’s economy saw full-year growth of 3.8% for 2022, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday.

The economy grew 2.2% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, the slowest pace since mid-2021 but beating expectations of 2.1% in a Reuters poll.

The latest figures reflected continued recovery in the services sector that followed the lifting of domestic and border restrictions since April, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the accommodation sector expanded for the first time since mid-2021.

– Jihye Lee

The Bank of Japan is reportedly considering raising its inflation forecasts in January, according to the Nikkei

Japan’s central bank is reportedly considering raising inflation forecasts in January to reflect price growth closer to its 2% target in fiscal year 2024, according to a Dec. 30 Nikkei report, citing familiar sources.

The move could lay the foundation for a shift towards tighter fiscal policy, according to the report.

The report comes more than a week after the Bank of Japan changed its bond yield controls, allowing long-term interest rates to rise more. The interest rate on the 10-year bond will be allowed to fluctuate by half a percentage point above and below the country’s target of 0% – up from a quarter of a percentage point.

Retail sales have also increased in Japan, rising for the ninth consecutive month in November.

Darla market

The week ahead: Asia-Pacific PMIs, trade data, inflation readings

Key economic events in the Asia-Pacific next week will be dominated by purchasing managers’ index readings in the region.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release the official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI prints on Saturday. Reuters expects China’s factory activity to show a contraction with a reading of 48.

South Korea is also due to report its December trade data over the weekend, which economists polled by Reuters predict will show a 10.1% drop from a year ago.

Singapore is scheduled to release PMI readings for manufacturing next week, while S&P Global is scheduled to release its PMI readings for South Korea, Indonesia and India on Monday.

Inflationary pressures for the Philippines and Indonesia will also be closely watched, with releases scheduled for Tuesday and Monday respectively.

Japan’s PMI reading and China’s private survey for services PMI will be released on Wednesday. Singapore will release November’s retail sales on Thursday, as well as South Korea’s unemployment rate for December.

– Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: The Wall Street veteran names the stocks that could go to $0 — and his tech favorites

2022 has marked the end of an era of cheap money, and that’s bad news for companies with a “growth at any cost” approach, said David Trainer, managing director of investment research firm New Constructs.

In the coming year, investors will need to do due diligence to distinguish between good and bad companies, he told CNBC Pro.

That’s because the US Federal Reserve’s rate hikes in 2022 have “ended the era of super easy money” and exposed many companies with poor business models. He calls these companies “zombie shares” with a large burn.

He highlights a list of such names to avoid and what to buy instead.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Final market statistics for 2022

Friday was the last trading day in 2022, but also for the quarter, month and year. Here’s how the major market averages fared over those timeframes.

Dow completed:

  • down 8.78% for the year
  • up 15.39% for the quarter
  • down 4.17% for the month
  • down 0.17% for the week

The S&P 500 completed:

  • down 19.44% for the year
  • up 7.08% for the quarter
  • down 5.90% for the month
  • down 0.14% for the week

Nasdaq Composite completed:

  • down 33.10% for the year
  • down 1.03 per cent in the quarter
  • down 8.73% for the month
  • down 0.30% for the week

Russell 2000 small caps completed:

  • down 21.56% for the year
  • up 5.8 per cent in the quarter
  • down 6.64% for the month
  • up 0.02% for the week

— Jesse Pound, Christopher Hayes

CNBC Pro: 2023 looks good for the market — especially for an ‘extremely attractive’ asset class: Fund manager

Markets have bottomed and things are looking up for stocks and bonds, which could rise more than 10% in 2023, according to a portfolio manager.

Jay Hatfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Infrastructure Capital Advisors, also highlighted the “conviction investment themes” he expects to be very attractive in 2023.

That includes one asset he said could beat his peers.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan



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