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Asia Pacific Markets, Fed Minutes, Inflation, PMI, Singapore Retail, Caixin Services

Singapore’s annual retail sales for November increase at a slower pace

Singapore’s retail sales rose 6.2% in November from a year ago, slower than the 10.3% growth for October, according to the latest figures published by the Statistics Ministry.

The reading marked a relief from the past seven consecutive months of double-digit annual growth.

Excluding motor vehicles, Singapore’s total retail sales were $4 billion, of which 14.8% were online sales.

“The higher share of e-commerce sales was mainly attributed to more sales recorded during the year̵[ads1]7;s e-commerce events,” the report said.

– Lee Ying Shan

Oil prices bounce after two days of declines on Chinese pent-up travel demand

Oil prices climbed more than 1% after seeing two days of declines, as China’s reopening boosted optimism for an economic recovery and supported demand.

Brent crude futures rose 1.08% to $78.68 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate futures rose 1.19% to $73.71 a barrel.

Investors appeared to have shrugged off concerns about a potential global recession amid shaky economic growth prospects in the US and China, sending oil prices down more than 9% in the past two days.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Bank of America sees 50% upside in this global fertilizer stock amid a worldwide shortage

Bank of America sees 50% upside in shares of a global fertilizer maker amid a worldwide shortage.

The Wall Street bank says the company has a 55% profit margin as it is insulated from rising natural gas prices.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

Asia Pacific Markets, Fed Minutes, Inflation, PMI, Singapore Retail, Caixin Services

China data from Caixin services show improvement, remains in contraction territory

Caixin China’s General Services Purchasing Managers’ Index showed an easing of pressure on the sector for the month of December, with a reading of 48, remaining in contraction territory.

The print rose from hitting a six-month low last month with a reading of 46.7.

The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-to-month expansion or contraction.

“Optimism improved significantly,” Caixin Insight Group senior economist Wang Zhe said, adding that the gauge of expectations for future activity rose nearly 4 points compared with a month ago.

“Service providers expressed strong confidence in an economic recovery following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions,” Wang said.

– Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Tech has had a brutal year. But four shares have a bright future, says the investor

The technology sector struck in 2022.

But investment pro Jason Ware is unfazed. He remains bullish on technology and mentioned four stocks he likes.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

Hong Kong’s S&P Global PMI indicates ease in private sector contraction

Hong Kong’s S&P Purchasing Managers’ Index ticked up to 49.6 in December from 48.7 in November despite remaining in contraction territory for the fourth straight month.

S&P said a slower contraction seen in the city’s private sector was due to a rise in business activity in the final month of 2022, boosted by easing of Covid restrictions.

Demand in the city remains subdued, S&P said, adding that overall new orders are shrinking on the back of worsening economic conditions.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Citi is bearish on lithium — at least for the near term. But it gives some shares a big upside

Citi is bearish on lithium – at least for the near term. Lithium is a critical component in electric vehicle batteries.

But the bank is still positive about its long-term outlook, and mentions three stocks to watch.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Fed officials expect higher rates for “some time,” minutes show

The Federal Reserve published the minutes of its meeting on 13-14. December, which showed that central bank officials expect interest rates to be higher “for a while”.

“Participants generally observed that restrictive policy would need to be maintained until incoming data provided confidence that inflation was on a sustained downward path to 2 percent, which is likely to take some time,” the meeting summary said. “In light of the persistent and unacceptably high level of inflation, several participants commented that historical experience cautioned against loosening monetary policy too soon.”

“A number of participants emphasized that it would be important to clearly communicate that a slowdown in the pace of interest rate increases was not indicative of any weakening of the Committee’s determination to achieve its price stability objective or an assessment that inflation was already on a sustained downward path” , it was said in the minutes.

-Jeff Cox

November SHOCK better than expected

The number of vacancies in November was 10.5 million, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.

The report came in slightly better than expected, although it was little changed from last month. Analysts expected JOLTS to be around 10 million in November.

The number of hires and total separations was also little changed at 6.1 million and 5.9 million respectively. There were also 4.2 million resignations and 1.4 million layoffs and discharges during the month.

—Carmen Reinicke

Chinese ADRs rise in pre-market trading

Chinese ADRs climbed in pre-market trading after Ant Group received approval to increase its registered capital, a sign that Chinese regulators may be loosening their grip on the country’s technology sector.

Shares of and Ali Baba each rose more than 6%. NetEase, Baidu and were other stocks that made notable moves higher.

Ant Group, which previously had its own IPO plans that were scuttled by regulatory concerns, was allowed to double its registered capital as part of the new plan.

-Jesse Pound

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