Asia-Pacific stocks are mostly higher after a cooling inflation print

China’s December exports fell less than expected

Exports and Imports of China fell less than expected For the month of December, according to the Customs Administration.

In U.S. dollar terms, China’s exports fell 9.9% in December, compared to a 10% drop predicted in a Reuters poll.

Imports in December fell 7.5% in US dollar terms from a year earlier, better than a 9.8% decline forecast by Reuters.

A slight decline means trade is still growing for 2022.

– Evelyn Cheng, Lee Ying Shan

Bank of Korea raises rates, says fourth-quarter 2022 GDP likely to be negative

The Bank of Korea raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.5%, the highest since December 2008. The move was in line with Reuters’ expectations.

“As inflation remains high and is forecast to remain above the target level for a considerable period, the Board judges that an additional 25 basis points hike is necessary to ensure price stability,” Bank of Korea said. wrote in a statement.

Governor Rhee Chang-yong said At a press conference Fourth quarter GDP for 2022 will be negative, but GDP growth for the first quarter of 2023 is estimated to be better.

“Today’s hike signals the end of the BoK’s current tightening cycle, but the hurdle for a pivot towards an easing bias remains high,” ANZ Research economist Crystal Tan wrote in a note.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Want a Recession-Free Portfolio? The fund manager identifies two stocks that fit the bill

Investors looking for recession-proof stocks may want to consider buying shares in a renewable energy producer and a cybersecurity company, a top fund manager says.

Trendmasters at investment management firm Alpinity, which named the stock, said the energy company could raise prices above inflation even during a recession, saying the cyber security company will see increased demand for its services this year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailer fell more than 6% after announcing a pay hike

Uniqlo-Proprietary Shares Fast Retailing Down 6.68% for the day declares This will increase the wages by 40%.

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“This war for talent is intensifying [Tadashi Yanai]Uniqlo’s founder fully approves,” Jesper Koll, director of expertise at Monex Group, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” about the wage hike.

“Japanese workers have realized their value, their value … and as a result, if you want to retain that talent, you have to start paying.”

Fast retailing is a heavyweight in Japan’s benchmark Nikki 225It fell 0.6%, spurring an overall positive trend in Asia-Pacific shares.

Koll added that while Fast Retail is doing a “great job” in the physical space, its e-commerce presence still has room for improvement.

“for now [that’s] “There’s not going to be a major growth driver,” he said.

– Lee Ying Shan

Cryptocurrencies inch higher even as the SEC charges crypto firms

Cryptocurrencies also surged after the US Securities and Exchange Commission will be imposed Crypto companies Genesis and Gemini with Sale of unregistered securities.

Bitcoin It traded 4.81% higher at $18,838.66, according to data from Currency Gauges. Currency on Thursday Raised over $19,000It was the highest in more than two months.

Ether It rose 1.67% to $1,414.65.

The SEC alleged that Genesis loaned out Gemini users’ crypto and returned a portion of the profits to Gemini, which deducted an agent fee and returned the rest of the profits to its users.

– Lee Ying Shan, Kate Rooney

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs says Asia tech is about to rebound — and reveals a chip stock to play it

Stocks close

Equities ended Thursday’s trading session in the green.

The Dow And Nasdaq Composite Each ended up 0.6%. The S&P 500 Gained 0.3%.

The Nasdaq closed for a fifth day of gains as investors bought beat-up technology stocks on hopes of an improving outlook for growth names. This is the first time the index has recorded such a stretch since July.

– Alex Haring

CPI report will surprise central bank

A slight decline in consumer prices in December won’t change the Federal Reserve’s path, as it will raise rates on January 31 and February 1.

CPI fell 0.01% as economists expected and increased 6.5% from a year ago. Core CPI rose 0.03% as expected.

“While markets were pushed back by the Goldilocks scenario of the jobs report, the Fed doubled down on their commitment to keep inflation on track because they don’t see it as a marathon,” said Diane Swank, chief economist at KPMG. .

Stock futures were higher after the report, while Treasury yields fell. Yield moves opposite price.

“It was right in line. They all put the S&P 500 up 50 points yesterday on weak numbers. That’s as expected. It doesn’t change anything,” said Peter Bookwar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Financial. “They’re almost done raising rates. That’s what people need to pay attention to in the long run.”

Swank and other economists Pep. Expect to raise interest rates by half a percentage point on the 1st. However, the futures market is pricing in a quarter point.

–Bar Dom

CPI shelter inflation is more worrisome

Housing costs, which include rent, rose more than expected in the December consumer price index, an area economists are watching closely.

Accommodation rose 0.8%, or 7.5% from a year ago. Some economists had expected a sheltered 0.6% gain, which is 40% of core CPI. Accommodation costs in the CPI lag behind actual market data on rents.

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“As of this single month’s report, there’s been no inflation outside of shelter,” said Luke Tilley, chief economist at the Wilmington Foundation, adding, “Inflation has been falling mostly because of motor vehicles and computers and laptops and technology. Used vehicle prices are down. Annual 27.5% at the rate, and they are likely to continue to fall.”

Delhi expects shelter inflation to moderate in the next two months. As for the overall CPI, it fell 0.01% as expected.

Greg Peters, co-chief investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income, said the rise in shelter inflation is something to watch. He said the market was expecting a slightly bigger decline in the CPI’s headline market.

“I still think it’s good. I think the numbers will continue to go down. The real question is, where does it start to even out?” Peters said. “That’s the area to focus on. It’s great that the CBI is getting down to the nitty-gritty, and there’s some good news in the report. But that doesn’t mean they’re comfortable with the central bank getting closer to its target. .”

Tilley said he expects 2023 to be a year unlike 2022, where inflation will reverse. “We could very well see a reversal of what happened in 2022 in 2023, with inflation surprising,” he said.

–Bar Dom

Consumer Price Index for December matched expectations

The consumer price index fell 0.1% in December, matching the Dow Jones estimate. This was the biggest monthly decline since April 2020. The so-called core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, also met expectations with 0.3%. gain.

On an annual basis, The index rose 6.5%, still above the central bank’s 2% inflation target.

– Fred Imbert

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