Asia-Pacific markets mostly rise as investors digest smaller quarter-point hike from Fed

Asia-Pacific markets mostly rise as investors digest smaller quarter-point hike from Fed

Signs of ‘sequential acceleration’ in Hong Kong despite economic contraction in 2022: UBP

Hong Kong’s economy is “in a position to return to expansion” this year, UBP told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.

“We are seeing signs that there has been a sequential acceleration in January. That’s the good news,” said Carlos Casanova, UBP’s senior economist for Asia.

This despite new figures from the Hong Kong government showing that their The economy contracted 4.2% in its fourth quarterfalling for four consecutive quarters in 2022. Real GDP also contracted by 3.5% yoy.

“We are confident that we should be in a position to return to expansion in 2023, not only because of tourists from the mainland [are] returning after reopening, but…we have more favorable equity valuations which are definitely helping sentiment in Hong Kong,” Casanova added.

—Goh Chiew Tong

Bitcoin Up About 4%, Approaching $24,000

Bitcoin It rose 3.72% over the past 24 hours, prices on Coin Metrics showed, as investors continued to applaud the US Federal Reserve’s smaller rate hike of 25 basis points.

The cryptocurrency briefly touched $24,000 and last traded at $23,986.65, sitting at the highest levels since mid-August 2022.

Ether it was up 5.77% and last traded at $1,677.13.

US dollar index fluctuates, around 100

He dollar index it fell more than 0.3% to 100.92, to the lowest levels seen since April 2022, when it last dipped below the 101 mark, Refinitiv data showed.

The dollar index hit an overnight low of 101.036, its lowest level since 04/22/2022, when it traded as low as 100.473.

The index is down 0.74% so far this week and is on track for its fourth consecutive negative week for the first time since its 4-week streak that ended on January 14, 2022.

–Chris Hayes, Gina Francolla, Jihye Lee

Australia construction approvals rise 18.5%, beating expectations

Total construction approvals approved in Australia increased by 18.5%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statisticswell above the 1% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

Approvals for private sector housing fell 2.3%, while approvals for private sector buildings excluding houses rose 56.6%, ABS said in its statement.

The value of non-residential buildings fell 1.7%, while the value of total buildings increased 3%.

–Jihye Lee

South Korea’s consumer price index rose 5.2% in January

South Korea’s consumer price index rose 5.2% in January on an annualized basis, Statistics Korea data showed.

The latest print shows a rebound from previous readings, after falling from 5.7% in October 2022 to 5.0% in November and remaining unchanged in December.

Prices of daily necessities increased 6.1% compared to the previous year, while fresh food increased 2.4%.

–Jihye Lee

Adani Enterprises Withdraws Tracking Public Offering Overnight

Investors will closely watch the shares of Adani Group companies after Adani Enterprises withdrew its follow-up $2.5 billion public offering overnight, despite the sale being fully subscribed to, which many saw as a vote of confidence from investors.

The company cited “the unprecedented situation and current market volatility” in making the decision, adding that it is working to repay profits to investors.

“Given these extraordinary circumstances, the company’s board of directors felt that pursuing the matter would not be morally correct,” founder Gautam Adani said in a statement.

“The interest of investors is paramount and therefore, to protect them from potential financial loss, the Board decided not to proceed with the FPO,” it said.

The move comes after Adani’s shares continued to sell off during Wednesday’s trading session in Mumbai, reflecting investor sentiment eroded since Hindenburg Research announced its short position in Adani Group companies.

Adani Enterprises Stock it fell 28% at the close of the market on Wednesday. Port Adani and Special Economic Zone fell 19%, adani green energy fell 5.6%, Adani Total Gas lost 10% while Adani Transmission closed 2.8% lower.

–Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: JPMorgan Says Hong Kong Stocks Will Rally In February, Names 5 Stocks To Own

JPMorgan has named five shares to own amid an expected rise in the broader Chinese stock market in February.

Strategists at the Wall Street bank blamed the selloff of Hong Kong-listed shares last week on profit-taking by some investors.

They said the overall stock market will “move higher” this month, but will rotate toward “consumer quality lags, as well as cyclical growth and value spaces.”

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about the 5 stocks JPMorgan has named.

—Ganesh Rao

CNBC Pro: Worried about falling Alibaba stock price? Analysts have 4 alternative technology picks

Alibaba’s shares have enjoyed a strong rally this year, although a recent drop in its share price has worried some investors.

But the Wall Street darling is far from the only game in town, with several stocks also offering exposure to the Chinese internet sector.

Professional subscribers can read more here.

—Zavier Ong

Fed raises 25 basis points, but expects “continued” increases

The Federal Reserve raised benchmark overnight loan rates by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage points, matching investor expectations. The increase brings the Fed’s target range to 4.5-4.75%, the highest level since 2007.

In its statement, however, the Fed stood by the language noting that the FOMC still sees a need to “continuous increases in target rangeMarket participants expected the phrase to be watered down a bit, but the unanimously approved statement kept it intact.

—Jeff Cox

Don’t expect a rate cut in 2023, says Powell

Jerome Powell said he doesn’t expect the Fed to cut rates this year, as some top strategists project.

“Given our outlook, I don’t see us cutting rates this year, if our outlook comes true,” the Fed chair said.

Powell also said he is “not worried” that the bond market will imply one more cut before a pause, because some market participants expect inflation to fall faster than the Fed.

“If we see inflation coming down a lot faster, that will influence our policy setting, of course,” Powell said.

—Jesse Pound

Economy still in ‘early stage’ of inflation relief, says Powell

Powell acknowledged that there have been positive signs in recent jobs reports, even as employment data has remained strong, but said it was too early to celebrate.

“It’s good that the disinflation we’ve seen so far hasn’t come at the expense of the labor market,” Powell said, but added that the economy is still in an “early stage” of easing inflation.

He said a drop in property prices and data showing a recent weakening in the rental housing market is a “good story.”

However, he said the Fed “does not yet see disinflation” in the utilities portion of inflation, excluding housing.

—Jesse Pound

Gold hits intraday high not seen since April

Prayed reached a session high not seen since April.

The metal traded as high as $1,956.60 during trading on Wednesday. That is the highest it has traded since April 22, 2022, when gold hit $1,957.80.

—Alex Harring, Gina Francola

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