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Asia-Pacific markets, Wall Street, industrial production, Hong Kong eases restrictions

South Korea’s retail sales see third month of decline, industrial production rebounds

South Korea’s retail sales in November fell 1.8% year-on-year, falling further after seeing a 0.2% drop in October, government data showed.

Meanwhile, industrial production rose 0.4% for the month, recovering slightly after seeing four straight months of decline earlier.

South Korea is expected to release its consumer price index on Friday, with economists polled by Reuters expecting to see a further cooling of inflation at 5%.

– Jihye Lee

Oil prices fall as China’s reopening optimism fizzles

Oil prices fell marginally as China continues to see a rising number of Covid cases, as well as a strain on medical resources, fueling optimism in the nation’s reopening and boosting demand.

Brent crude futures fell 0.46% to $82.88 a barrel. Similarly US West Texas Intermediate fell 0.49% to $78.58 a barrel.

“Even the narrative of China’s reopening may be thwarted by record-breaking Covid outbreak in China,” Mizuho Bank’s Vishnu Varathan wrote in a note, adding that the reopening should also not be confused with a “durable immunity” from risks of global recession.

– Lee Ying Shan

Apple’s Asia suppliers fall after shares of the technology giant hit record lows

Italy makes Covid tests mandatory for travelers from China: Reuters

Italy will require all incoming travelers from China to undergo Covid tests, Reuters reports its health minister, after authorities in Milan reported that nearly 50% of passengers on two flights from China tested positive.

It has not been specified what measures will be imposed on arrivals who test positive, Reuters reported.

Separately, Britain is considering following suit after the US announced mandatory testing of arrivals from China, the Telegraph reported.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Tech is ‘down but by no means out’ – watch these stocks in 2023, fund manager says

It’s been a bad year for tech companies, and many investors have been wondering when tech stocks will rebound.

Technical fund manager Jeremy Gleeson at AXA Investment Managers told CNBC Pro Talks last week that he still believes in the sector.

He explains why and names the shares to be bought.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Crypto exchange Kraken to shut down operations in Japan

Digital currency exchange Kraken announced it will cease operations in Japan next month, deregistering from Japan’s Financial Services Agency on January 31, 2023.

The exchange cited a confluence of “current market conditions in Japan” and a “weak crypto market globally” as the reasons behind the move.

The decision was also part of Kraken’s efforts to “prioritize resources and investments in the areas that are in line with [its] strategy and will best position Kraken for long-term success.”

Bitcoin fell 0.64% in the last 24 hours and last traded at $16,571.12, according to Coin Metrics. Ether fell 1.18% to $1,193.34.

– Ryan Browne, Lee Ying Shan

The US will require a negative Covid test from China travelers

Airline passengers entering the United States from China must have a negative Covid test, a federal health official announced Wednesday.

The rule comes into force on 5 January and applies to all travelers who are at least two years old from China, Hong Kong and Macau. The rule applies regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

After attempting a zero Covid policy for much longer than other major countries, China is now seeing a wave of infections after rolling back its public health restrictions in recent weeks.

-Jesse Pound

Apple breaks key technical level, sets new 52-week low

apple fell through the key $129 level and set a new 52-week low for another day on Wednesday.

Some analysts see Apple, the largest stock, as a bellwether for the overall market and a major influence on investor sentiment.

“It’s not good for the overall market,” said Todd Sohn, technical analyst at Strategas. “The end of the year is a funky time, but if it continues into the first couple of weeks of the year, it’s for real.”

Apple fell through $129 support in early trading Wednesday and touched a low of $126.41 before reversing. The stock was at $127.15 in afternoon trading.

“If your biggest weight is weak and making new lows, that’s not good. Your top player isn’t scoring,” he said. Sohn said the five largest market caps are still losing momentum. “The silver lining is that the leverage on the (S&P 500) index is declining.”

–Patti Domm

CNBC Pro: China eases its Covid restrictions. This could mean a buying opportunity in these shares

A reopening in the world’s second-largest economy could provide a buying opportunity for investors as China winds down much of its Covid restrictions.

Investors have taken the latest development as a signal to start picking up Chinese stocks. They expect China’s economy to get a boost in 2023, while the US and Europe continue to deal with the lingering effects of monetary tightening that could put a damper on economic growth.

“A lot of institutional investors have been very underweight Chinese stocks,” said Carlos Asilis, co-founder and CIO of Glovista Investments.

“And I think that has been a mistake, because it has ignored this very important potential baseline issue that is now being priced in, which is the Chinese economy going through a similar recovery path next year that we saw this year in the case of the United States,” added he to.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

—Sarah Min

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