Hong Kong's Hang Seng rises 2%, leads Asia markets higher after Powell's inflation comments

This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets

A stock broker at the Prudential Brokerage office follows the Hang Seng Index results in Hong Kong in March 2020.
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Markets in Asia-Pacific rose Friday as investors digested Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's latest comments as he vowed to raise rates to tackle inflation "until the job is done."

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.53% to close at 28,214.75 and the Topix ticked up 0.4% to 1,965.53. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 also rose 0.66%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index closed 2.69% higher at 19,362.25 and its tech index also climbed 2.6%. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.82% to close at 3,262.05 and the Shenzhen Component advanced 1.11% to 11,877.79.

China's consumer inflation came in at 2.5% in August, lower than the 2.7% recorded in July.

"China's weak growth outlook and accommodative monetary policy stance against the aggressive tightening underway by the FOMC will keep USD/CNH well supported," Commonwealth Bank of Australia's FX strategist Kristina Clifton said in a note, referring to the offshore yuan.

Asia-Pacific currencies strengthen as dollar dips

Currencies in the Asia-Pacific strengthened as the U.S. dollar index hovered around 108.5 after peaking earlier in the week.

The Australian dollar rose 1.63% to 0.686, recovering from the previous session's losses which followed Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe's dovish remarks.

The Japanese yen hovered around 142 against the dollar. The Korean won was at 1,373.99. The offshore Chinese yuan was 6.923.

—Jihye Lee

Goldman Sachs expects China to cut RRR by 25 basis points in fourth quarter

Goldman Sachs says it expects the People's Bank of China to cut its reserve requirement ratio by 25 basis points in the fourth quarter on softer-than-expected inflation readings.

That predicted cut would help offset the large amount of maturing MLF loans, the bank said in a note.

The bank's economists including Xinquan Chen said in a note that they expect China's consumer inflation to stay moderate, while producer prices continue to fall in coming months.

—Jihye Lee

Japanese yen strengthens after comments from officials

The Japanese yen strengthened as much as 1% following commentary from officials, including Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda who called the currency's rapid moves "undesirable."

Kuroda's comments come after his meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida where the two discussed recent currency moves, Reuters reported.

Earlier, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki also said the government would not rule out any options on foreign exchange moves, which the minister has repeatedly described as "rapid and one-sided."

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—Jihye Lee

Oil prices regain after slip from demand concerns

Oil prices rose on Friday as traders weighed Russia's threat to halt energy exports, and central banks' aggressive rate hikes.

Brent crude futures climbed 0.34% to stand at $89.45 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate added 0.17% to $83.68 per barrel.

Prices are also supported as the Biden administration is not considering new releases of reserves from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

— Lee Ying Shan

HSBC says China's latest inflation readings allow PBOC to maintain accommodative monetary policy

China's latest inflation figures give the People's Bank of China room to maintain its current monetary stance, HSBC said in a note.

"The moderation in price pressures gives the PBOC room to stay accommodative," greater China economist Erin Xin said.

Xin added that the central bank is likely to further ease using structural tools such as "additional re-lending quotas for focus areas like manufacturing and green investment."

—Jihye Lee

China consumer price index rises 2.5% in August, misses estimates

China's consumer price index rose 2.5% year-on-year in August, lower than the 2.7% figure recorded in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, missing a Reuters poll forecast of 2.8%.

Producers price rose 2.3% for the month, also slower than a rise of 4.2% for July and missing estimates of 3.1%.

A report by Nomura earlier this week said 12% of China's total GDP was impacted by Covid controls on a weighted basis — up from 5.3% last week.

Jihye Lee

Worst is not over for Japanese yen, analyst says

The Japanese yen's depreciation is one of the more "rigorous" and "easiest" moves to explain because it is "based on real fundamentals," director of Monex Group Jesper Koll told CNBC, adding it could plummet even further in coming months.

It is the most "textbook-driven currency move I've seen in 30 years," he said.

Koll pointed towards the interest rate differential between the U.S. and Japan as one of the "powerful forces" that will move the yen, adding the chance of the Bank of Japan raising rates is "close to nil."

Read the full story here.

—Charmaine Jacob

CNBC Pro: Uranium is 'on a tear' right now. Here are two ETFs to play it

One niche area of the commodity market — uranium — has been a bright spot over the past month, with its performance outpacing even that of the broader energy sector.

Two ETFs have surged in recent weeks, as the West scrambles to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Bilibili plunges 16% at open after reporting second-quarter loss

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese video and gaming company Bilibili plunged more than 16% at the open after reporting a miss on its second-quarter earnings overnight.

The company reported a net loss of more than $300 million almost double the amount of loss reported for the same period a year ago.

Citi Research's vice president of China internet and media Brian Gong, however, was optimistic and said regulatory concerns over the country's gaming industry are easing.

Pointing to the government's resuming of gaming licenses, Gong said "although their number is less than expected, it shows the environment is improving," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia," adding that "the worst is behind us."

—Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Citi just upgraded eight Chinese stocks

China's "economic recovery looks to be slower than market expectations," Citi's stock analysts said in a Sept. 2 report.

They downgraded 12 China stocks — but upgraded eight. Here are three stocks from their updated list of top Hong Kong and mainland-traded Chinese stocks to buy.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

Evelyn Cheng

U.S. stock futures open little changed

U.S. stock futures opened little changed following a choppy session in the major averages as Wall Street considered the pace of future interest rate hikes.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 23 points, or 0.07%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.08% and 0.13%, respectively.

— Sarah Min

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