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Asia-Pacific markets mostly rise as Fed signals more pain ahead

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

People walk along a shopping street in the Harajuku area of Tokyo, Japan.
Carl Court | Getty Images

Markets in the Asia-Pacific traded mostly higher as the Federal Reserve signaled further rate hikes ahead.

The U.S. ADP private payrolls report said employers added 235,000 jobs in December showing a strong labor market despite the Fed's attempt to tame inflation and suggesting there is room for higher rates.

South Korea's Kospi gained 1.12% to 2,289.97. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.65% to close at 7,109.600. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.59% to close at 25,973.85 and the Topix inched up 0.37% to 1,875.76.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index pared most of its gains and was marginally lower in its final hour of trade as China reportedly signaled more supportive measures for its property sector ahead. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.08% to close at 3,157.64 and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.32% to 11,367.73.


Natural gas fell more than 10% and hit a low of $3.651, its lowest level since Jan. 3, 2022 on pace for its fifth negative session. The U.S. dollar index is up 0.75%, on pace for its second positive session.

On Wall Street, the Dow closed 300 points lower as investors looked ahead to more jobs data scheduled to be released Friday stateside. Bed, Bath & Beyond shed nearly 30% after the company said it is short on cash and considering bankruptcy. All three major indexes are on track to notch five weeks of losses.

— CNBC's Carmen Reinicke, Alex Harring, Christopher Hayes contributed to this report.

Tesla cuts some model prices in China, suppliers rise

Tesla slashed prices for some models in China for the second time in three months, the firm announced in a Weibo post.

The firm said its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in China are now priced at 229,900 yuan and 259,900 yuan, respectively.

That's a drop of 6% to 13.5%, a separate calculation by Reuters showed.

Shenzhen-listed shares of Tesla's Chinese suppliers rallied amid optimism the price cut could boost demand for the electric vehicle maker.

Shares of Anhui Shiny Electronic Technology rose as much as 10% in Asia's trade and Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics gained nearly 9%. Zhejiang Chint Electrics climbed about 10% and Shandong Jinjing Science & Tech rose more than 7%.

— Jihye Lee

More Chinese electronics firms set to take away market share from Taiwanese companies like Foxconn: Investment fund

More Chinese electronic component manufacturing companies are set to take away market share from Taiwanese counterparts such as Foxconn, Kirk Yang, chairman and CEO of Kirkland Capital, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" Friday.

Apple supplier Foxconn is facing rivalry from Luxshare, which was awarded a contract for iPhone production in China, even as Foxconn posted record revenue and its Zhengzhou plant returned to normalcy following Covid restrictions and labor unrest.

"Chinese companies are getting pretty competitive for iPhone assemblers. China is doing quite well in pretty much everything, aside from semiconductors," said Yang.

Yang further added that with China-Taiwan geopolitical tensions, Taiwanese companies in China, in the last five years, have seen a lot of pressure. "A lot of them are moving out of China," said Yang.

This is why Apple has to diversify, he said, adding that the US-China tech war is also causing companies to move even faster out of China to diversify.

- Sheila Chiang

Samsung Electronics could cut production in coming months, says CLSA

Samsung Electronics may follow its competitors Micron Technology and SK Hynix in cutting production in the later part of 2023, Sanjeev Rana, senior analyst at CLSA said.

The company has "no other option but to cut their production because inventories are quickly building up," Rana said on CNBC's Squawk Box Asia on Friday.

"If they don't cut production, inventories could go up even higher," he said, adding the demand for IT products have plunged in recent months, causing the sale of memory chips to also fall.

Rana said on the demand side, China's reopening could lead to a double-digit growth in smartphone shipments to China on an annualized basis.

Samsung Electronics may cut production in the coming months, analyst says
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Samsung Electronics may cut production in the coming months, analyst says

— Charmaine Jacob

Oil prices to stay around $85 per barrel for the next five years, analyst says

Oil prices are expected to hover around $85 per barrel for the next five years as a result of "underinvestment on the supply side" and likely growing demand, said Pickering Energy Partners' Dan Pickering.

Once China gets through its Covid wave, "a million to two million barrels a day of incremental demand," can be expected, Pickering said, adding this will be supportive of the commodity's prices.

He added further support will also be priced in once the world steps out of the global economic downturn.

Brent crude futures added 1.12% to stand at $79.57 per barrel. Similarly, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 1.15% to $74.74 per barrel.

Overnight in the U.S. also reported lower fuel inventories in the wake of a winter storm, adding on to pressures on supply.

—Lee Ying Shan

China relaxes floor rates on mortgage loans for first home buyers

The People's Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission announced approval for lower mortgage rates for first-time home buyers if newly constructed house prices drop for three consecutive months, a notice said.

The latest measures show further support from the government for the property sector.

Housing sales in China fell more than 20% on an annualized basis each month last year through November, Factset data showed. Home prices fell for the fourth-straight month in November on a monthly basis, Reuters reported.

Property stocks listed in Hong Kong were mostly up, with Logan group rising 5.48% and Cifi Holdings gaining 0.79%. Country Garden and Longfor Group were flat in Friday's morning session.

— Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Veteran investor sees energy as the biggest winner in 2023 — and names the stocks to play it

After a standout performance in 2022, energy stocks are having a slow start to the year.

But veteran investor Louis Navellier is unfazed. He believes the sector is set for another bumper year in 2023, and has a number of stock picks to play it.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

Japan's service sector grows for fourth straight month

Japan's services sector activity showed a fourth-consecutive month of growth in December as the nation's central bank maintains its ultra-dovish policy, in contrast with its hawkish global peers.

The final au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.1, compared with the sharp fall in November's reading of 50.3 from 53.2 in October.

The 50-point mark in PMI readings separates contraction from expansion.

The Japanese yen traded marginally stronger after the report and last stood at 133.38 against the greenback.

— Jihye Lee

Samsung Electronics' earnings guidance flags nearly 70% plunge in quarterly profits

Samsung Electronics flagged the worst quarterly profit in nearly 8 years with a roughly 70% decline in its final quarter's operating profit, according to the company's latest earnings guidance.

The tech giant estimated its profit slumping to 4.3 trillion won ($3.37 billion) in the period from October to December on weakened global demand, after posting a profit of 13.87 trillion won ($10.92 billion) in its previous quarter.

Shares of the tech giant inched up 0.17% shortly after the guidance release.

— Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Citi's Chronert says a recession is near; shares his 'top conviction calls' to tough it out

Citi's Scott Chronert expects a mild recession in the first half of this year and revealed three strategy calls that could help investors trade the downturn.

He shared three "top conviction calls" with CNBC that could help investors navigate the macro environment.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard says 2023 is poised to be a disinflationary year

There are a number of factors that could make 2023 a disinflationary year, according to St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard in a Thursday speech.

He noted that GDP growth likely improved in the second half of 2022 and inflation has declined recently, even though it remains too high overall.

He added that while current policy is not yet "sufficiently restrictive" but is moving closer and will reach that level this year. This signaled to markets that he may be backing off the more than 5% terminal rate he sees the central bank reaching before pausing or pivoting rate hikes, bringing stocks off lows of the day.

The labor market strength that has been seen in the midst of a hiking cycle is unprecedented, he said.

—Carmen Reinicke

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs reveals 7 under-the-radar global stocks to buy this year

Many under-the-radar stocks are key to a green energy transition, according to Goldman Sachs — and it expects them to take off in 2023.

The Wall Street bank said the decade-long trend of investing in large clean energy stocks would shift this year, with the focus moving to smaller supply chain firms.

The investment bank identified seven stocks in the Europe, Middle East, and Asia regions that will benefit from the new trend.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Big declines for Silvergate, Bed Bath & Beyond highlight midday movers

Here are some of the biggest stock moves during Thursday's trading session:

Silvergate — Shares of the crypto-focused bank tumbled more than 42% after Silvergate disclosed massive customer withdrawals during the fourth quarter. The bank said it $3.8 billion in assets from digital asset customers at the end of December, down more than 60% from three months earlier. The company also sold off more the $5 billion of debt securities to cover the withdrawals, resulting in a loss on those sales of $718 million.

Bed Bath & Beyond — The home goods retailer plummeted 24% after reporting it's running out of cash and is considering bankruptcy, citing weaker-than-expected sales. The company said it is exploring financial options including restructuring, seeking additional capital or selling assets, in addition to a potential bankruptcy.

Lamb Weston Holdings — The food processing company jumped 9% after it smashed quarterly earnings and revenue estimates. Lamb Weston also raised its financial guidance for the full year.

Check out more movers here.

— Jesse Pound

Continuing jobless claims dip, signaling labor market strength

Initial jobless claims ticked up slightly to 225,000 in the week ending Dec. 24, according to the Labor Department. But continuing claims - which count those who have been on unemployment for more than one week - dropped.

Continuing claims fell more than 24,000 to 1,569,764 in the previous week. This signals that people are finding new jobs amid a strong labor market.

—Carmen Reinicke