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Asia-Pacific markets, Fed, Wall Street, Apple, Tesla, Japan PMI

Alibaba shares rise after Ant Group gets approval for capital plan

Shares in Hong Kong-listed Alibaba rose 7.11% in morning trading on Wednesday – after China’s Banking and Insurance Commission approved a plan for Ant Group’s capital expansion plan for its Chongqing-based consumer finance unit.

According to a notice published last week, Chinese regulators gave the green light to billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology firm to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion).

Ant Group is a subsidiary of Alibaba in which the e-commerce giant owns 33%. Ant Group operates Alipay’s mobile payment wallet in China. Alibaba̵[ads1]7;s shares rose 2.78% on Tuesday, the first trading session after the warning was posted.

Other companies mentioned in the announcement include 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 prices, with one offering 50% upside

Skyrocketing energy costs have spurred investment in renewable energy around the world.

Swiss investment bank UBS named 10 prominent players in renewable energy that are capitalizing on the trend and are set to outperform in the next year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

Japan’s manufacturing activity is the weakest in more than two years

au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for December posted a reading of 48.9, marking a second consecutive month in contraction territory.

The reading was down from November’s 49.0, and marked the weakest number since October 2020’s figure of 48.70.

The persistent contractions in manufacturing were attributed to “weak global economic trends,” the report said.

– Lee Ying Shan

Tesla’s Asia suppliers fall after delivery report

Tesla’s suppliers in Asia fell after it reported fourth-quarter vehicle production and 2022 delivery numbers that missed expectations.

The delivery report showed 405,278 total deliveries for the quarter and 1.31 million total deliveries for the year, lower than expected to see around 427,000 deliveries for the final quarter of the year.

Japanese Panasonic lost 1.82% in early Asia trade – South Korea’s LG Chem fell 0.17% in earlier hours and Samsung SDI fell around 2%.

Shenzhen-listed shares of Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, fell 1.7%. Shares in 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 appears to be more bullish on semiconductor stocks for the year ahead.

Recently, several pros have urged investors to take a long-term view of the sector, given the importance of chips in several key secular trends.

Analysts singled out one stock in particular they are bullish on, citing its earnings potential and future profitability.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Apple’s Asia suppliers are mostly trading up despite reports of production cuts

US manufacturing PMI falls at fastest rate since May 2020

The U.S. PMI of manufacturing, a measure of output, fell the fastest 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 published on Tuesday. Lower prices and falling production levels weighed on the index. In addition, there was a sharper decline in new sales than expected in December, and the companies noted uncertainty due to the economic backdrop.

—Carmen Reinicke

Tesla loses 13%, hits new 52-week low

The stock fell more than 13%, hitting levels not seen since August 2020. The slide comes on the heels of the stock’s worst annual performance — Tesla fell 65% in 2022.

—Carmen Reinicke

Apple’s market value falls below 2 trillion dollars

A sale in apple shares pushed the iPhone maker’s market value below $2 trillion on Tuesday.

Shares fell 4% on news that it is reportedly reducing production on some items due to weak demand. Concerns over iPhone supply during the holiday period have increased in recent weeks, weighing on stocks as shutdowns poured through Apple’s major supplier in China.

The fall in shares contrasts with a year ago, when Apple became the first US company to reach a market value of $3 trillion.

Apple was the last of the megacap tech stocks to hover above the $2 trillion level.

– Samantha Subin

The US will avoid recession in 2023, says Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs has a forecast outside consensus for the US economy in 2023.

“Our economists continue to believe that the US will avoid recession as the Fed succeeds in engineering a soft landing for the economy,” analysts wrote on Tuesday.

“This non-consensus forecast partly reflects our view that a period of below-potential growth is enough to gradually rebalance the labor market and moderate wage and price pressures,” the note said. “But it also reflects our analysis which indicates that the pull from fiscal and monetary tightening will slow sharply next year, contrary to the consensus view that the lagged effects of interest rate hikes will lead to a recession in 2023.”

In addition, the bank today raised its GDP growth forecast for 4Q22 by 10bp to +2.1% on the back of a surprisingly strong release of construction costs in November

“The link between the resilience of the US economy in 2022 and the decline experienced by stocks has been a key narrative over the past year,” Goldman said. “And whether this disconnect continues, or whether the economy matches the market decline, or whether the market rebound in the wake of an economic soft landing may be at least part of the narrative for 2023.”

—Carmen Reinicke

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