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Hong Kong stocks lead losses as Asia markets fall ahead of U.S. inflation data

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

People walk through Exchange Square in Hong Kong on October 28, 2022. Major lenders Standard Chartered and HSBC expressed confidence in the rebound of Hong Kong's and China's economy, even as China ramps up its Covid measures and Hong Kong's economy posted its worst quarter in more than two years.
Isaac Lawrence | Afp | Getty Images

Shares in the Asia-Pacific fell Thursday as investors await U.S. inflation data, a key metric closely watched by the Federal Reserve, and as U.S. midterm results continue to roll in.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 0.98% to close at 27,446.10 and the Topix declined 0.66% to stand at 1.936.66. In South Korea, the Kospi dropped 0.91% and closed at 2,402.23. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.50% to end the session at 6,964.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.86% as Hang Seng Tech Index dropped 3.36% – leading in losses across markets in the wider region. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component declined 0.986%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.41%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.36%.


Chipmakers Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing are slated to report earnings later in the day as well as Apple supplier Foxconn.

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks closed lower as results of the elections provided no clear answers about who would control Congress yet. A crypto selloff also weighed on markets. Looking ahead, economists are expecting the October consumer price index rose 0.6% from September, according to a Dow Jones poll.

— Sarah Min, Jesse Pound, Yun Li contributed to this report

Hong Kong-listed tech stocks drop as wider Hang Seng Index briefly sheds 2%

Hong Kong-listed technology stocks declined while the broader Hang Sang Index briefly fell 2% as investors continued to digest the incoming results of the U.S. midterm elections and brace for more scrutiny on Chinese tech companies.

Shares of technology companies listed in the city fell in afternoon trade. Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba fell 3.79%, and JD.com also fell 3.6%. Similarly, Tencent declined 1.44% and Meituan lost 1.25%.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Exxon or Chevron? Goldman Sachs gives verdict on which stock is a better buy

Energy is the rare bright spot in a year when markets have been getting absolutely pummeled.

When looking at major oil stocks, ExxonMobil and Chevron are two names that may come to mind.

Both companies posted solid third-quarter earnings last month. The question is: which stock is a better buy?

Goldman Sachs sets out to determine the name that "deserves the premium."

— Weizhen Tan

Australia central bank official says may be able to 'sit and wait' on raising rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia's deputy governor Michele Bullock said interest rates are at a level where there "might be an opportunity to sit and wait and look a little bit at what's going to happen next,."

Speaking at the Senate Economic Legislation Committee on Thursday, she said that she thinks interest rates will probably have to "go up a little bit further," but a fixed timing and amount has not yet been set.

The RBA earlier this month raised its cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.85%.

— Lee Ying Shan

Crypto is the 'wild Wild West' with 99% noise and confusion, Fed's Kashkari says

Neel Kashkari, who once called bitcoin an "utterly useless" currency, is at it again.

Late Wednesday, the Minneapolis Fed president slammed cryptocurrencies, calling it the "wild Wild West and chaos all rolled into one."

Speaking at an event at South Dakota State University, Kashkari said the "fatal flaw" in the virtual asset is that anyone can create those coins and it makes them "hard to distinguish."

"For several years I've been saying it's 95% noise hype and confusion and I think that 95% might be generous — it might be 99% noise, hype and confusion based on what's going on right now," he said, adding that he has yet to see anything useful coming from cryptos.

–Jihye Lee

Major cryptos fall after Binance backs out of deal to buy FTX

Major cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ether fell in early Asia trade on Thursday after Binance backed out of a deal to acquire FTX.

Bitcoin was down nearly 10% to trade at $16,411.65, while ether fell 10.33% to $1,167.95, at 10.22p.m. ET Wednesday, according to CoinDesk data.

Binance on Wednesday pulled out of plans to buy its rival FTX, leaving the embattled crypto exchange on the brink of collapse.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Think the dollar is about to peak? Here's how to play it

The U.S. Dollar Index rose to a two-decade high in September. It's also hit all-time highs against several major currencies in recent weeks, including the British Pound and Japanese Yen.

Now, several market participants now believe the dollar rally, driven by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates more aggressively than other central banks, is about fade over the next three to six months.

CNBC Pro canvassed opinions from investment banks and brokers on where they see the dollar heading. Subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Bank of Japan to maintain current monetary policy in medium-term: Fitch

The Bank of Japan is likely to stand by its dovish monetary policy of ultra-low rates over the medium term despite rising risks, Fitch Ratings said in a release.

"The next annual wage negotiation round in March 2023 could offer clues as to whether wage growth and inflation expectations are becoming entrenched, and we believe BoJ will maintain loose policy to influence these negotiations," it said.

The agency also forecasts the economy to grow 1.7% in 2022 and 1.3% in 2023, adding a recovery in the services sector is expected.

–Jihye Lee

Earnings preview: Major Apple suppliers in Asia expected to see growth

Asia's major chipmakers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation are expecting to see a growth in their latest reports.

Taiwan chipmaker TSMC is slated to report its monthly revenue in the afternoon, while investors will be closely watching for any commentary following a Wall Street Journal report saying the company is considering adding a multibillion-dollar plant in Arizona.

SMIC meanwhile, is predicted to see a growth of 36.73% for its third quarter revenue, according to Refinitiv data. The company saw an annualized increase of 41.59% revenue from their second quarter.

— Lee Ying Shan

Correction: This post was updated to remove an inaccurate characterization of TSMC

Stocks close lower, snapping a three-day win streak

Stocks snapped a three-day win streak, closing lower Wednesday after the results of the midterm elections provided no clear answers about who would control Congress yet, and a crypto selloff weighed on markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points, or nearly 2%. The S&P 500 shed about 2%, and the Nasdaq Composite slid roughly 2.5%.

— Sarah Min