Asia-Pacific markets rise in final trading session of 2022

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

Pedestrians cross a street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong, after officials announced measures for the city to end some of its last major Covid rules, scrapping gathering limits to vaccination checks and testing for travelers. Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific traded higher on its last trading session of the year after Wall Street rebounded overnight, recovering most losses from the previous day.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.52% in its final hour of trade, carrying on the sentiment from the U.S. session. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.6% to 3,092.6 and the Shenzhen Component added 0.27% to 11,025.28.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.26% to end its session at 7,038.7. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was flat to end at 26.094.5 while the Japanese yen saw some strengthening to last stand at 132.42 against the U.S. dollar.

Seoul's stock markets are closed for New Year's holiday and scheduled to resume trade on Jan. 2 an hour later than usual at 10 a.m. local time.

Overnight in the U.S., jobless filings rose last week, according to the Labor department, a higher reading than Dow Jones estimates. Wall Street's major averages are still headed toward their worst year since 2008 as investors head into the final trading days of 2022.

Week ahead: PMIs in Asia-Pacific, trade data, inflation readings

Key economic events in the Asia-Pacific next week will be dominated by Purchasing Managers' Index readings in the region.

China's National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release the official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI prints on Saturday. Reuters expects China's factory activity to show a contraction with a reading of 48.

South Korea is also slated to report its December trade data over the weekend, in which economists polled by Reuters predict will show a drop of 10.1% compared with a year ago.

Singapore is scheduled to release manufacturing PMI readings next week, while S&P Global is scheduled to release its PMI readings for South Korea, Indonesia and India on Monday.

Inflation prints for the Philippines and Indonesia will also be closely watched, with the releases scheduled for Tuesday and Monday, respectively.

Japan's PMI reading and China's private survey for services PMI will be released on Wednesday. Singapore will release November's retail sales on Thursday as well as South Korea's unemployment rate for December.

– Jihye Lee

Yamaguchi emerging as candidate for next Bank of Japan governor: Sankei

Former Bank of Japan deputy governor Hirohide Yamaguchi is emerging as a candidate to lead the central bank, Japanese local media Sankei reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Yamaguchi, who held the deputy position at the central bank until 2013, has been a vocal critic of the current governor Haruhiko Kuroda's ultra-dovish monetary policy.

The newspaper added that Yamaguchi would indicate a shift away from former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic stimulus strategy also known as "Abenomics."

Sankei reported Yamaguchi is garnering attention as current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida moves away from the stimulus-oriented monetary stance, and that the appointment for the next central bank head would become clear next month.

– Jihye Lee

Foreign talent to be less inclined to come to Singapore after Hong Kong's reopening, says UOB

With Hong Kong's reopening, foreign nationals may be less inclined to move to Singapore, said Alvin Liew, senior economist at United Overseas Bank.

"Singapore has benefited in terms of the talent pool that came here due to the more stringent rules in Hong Kong itself," Liew said, adding that the influx of workforce moving to Singapore "may see some easing" now that the city has reopened.

"Talent pool itself may be less inclined to move here," the Singapore-based economist said.

Liew also added Hong Kong's reopening is a step in the right direction for the region to "return back to business as usual," Liew said.

Inflation in Singapore will probably stay high in the first few quarters of 2023, UOB says
Singapore inflation will probably stay high in first few quarters of 2023: UOB

– Charmaine Jacob

New China tech ETF can 'bring retail liquidity' to Singapore market: Investment firm

Asset management firm explains how its SGX ETF listing would differ from its other China index funds
Asset management firm says its ETF listing on SGX is a 'significant milestone'

The Singapore-listed CSI Star and ChiNext 50 Index Exchange Traded Fund can bring liquidity from mainland China to Singapore, Ding Chen, CEO of CSOP Asset Management, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

The firm's ETF was listed on the Singapore Exchange on Friday and is a sub-fund of the CSOP SG ETF Series I, a Singapore unit trust, according to the fund's page.

"Through SGX, Singapore investors and global investors can also get access to China-listed ETFs," said Ding, adding that China investors can also directly invest in Singapore ETFs.

When asked about the evolution of the firm's ETF portfolio, Ding said that it will "bring more emerging, younger generation of tech companies" on the market.

- Sheila Chiang

South Korea's inflation unchanged in December

South Korea's December consumer price index rose 5% on an annualized basis, statistics from the Bank of Korea showed.

The reading maintained cooler levels for the month and remained unchanged from November.

The print is in line with economists' expectations polled by Reuters.

– Jihye Lee

Stocks close higher Thursday

All of the major averages ended higher on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 345.09 points, or 1.05%. The S&P 500 gained 1.75% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.59% to 10,478.09.

— Tanaya Macheel

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But tech fund manager Jeremy Gleeson is still a long-term bull on the semiconductor sector.

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CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Jobless filings rose last week; continuing claims hit highest since February

Jobless claims increased last week amid Federal Reserve efforts to cool the economy and in particular the labor market.

First-time filings for unemployment benefits totaled 225,000 for the week ended Dec. 24, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was an increase of 9,000 from the previous week and slightly above the 223,000 estimate from Dow Jones.

Longer-term, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, jumped to 1.71 million, an increase of 41,000 to the highest level since early February.

The numbers this time of year are always noisy due to the holidays. Claims not adjusted for seasonal factors surged by 23,146, a 9.3% increase.

—Jeff Cox

CNBC Pro: Citi names its top biotech stock picks for 2023 — and gives one 73% upside

Biotech is set to remain a "stock-pickers market" in 2023, according to Citi.

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— Weizhen Tan