Japan stocks rise more than 2% as BoJ makes no change to yield range
This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.
Asia-Pacific shares traded mostly higher on Wednesday even as the Bank of Japan announced no change to its yield curve control policy.
Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.5% to close at 26,791.12, leading gains in the region. Topix edged up 1.64% to end at 1,934.93. The Japanese yen weakened 2.04% against the greenback right after the decision was announced and last traded at 130.84.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index inched up 0.09% and the Hang Seng Tech Index was trading flat. Mainland China's Shanghai Composite inched up fractionally, closing at 3,224.41 and the Shenzhen Component was up 0.086% to end at 11,810.66.
The Bank of Japan surprised markets by keeping its yield curve tolerance band and ultra-dovish -0.1% interest rate unchanged.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1% to close at 1,934.93. The Kospi lost 0.47 to stand at 2,368.32, bucking the overall trend.
Overnight in the U.S., major stock indexes slid as investors struggled to build on the early 2023 momentum.
Bank of Japan's Kuroda: No need to further expand bond target band
Bank of Japan's governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in an afternoon press conference on Wednesday that there is no further need to expand its yield curve control range, according to a Reuters translation.
"We don't need to further expand the band around our yield target," Kuroda was quoted as saying.
"It's been not long since we decided on our measures in December. It will likely take some more time for the measures to start having an effect in fixing market function," he said.
The Bank of Japan held its interest rates at a dovish -0.1% rate and made no changes to its yield curve control band.
– Jihye Lee
China's equity market will be 2023's top performer, Morgan Stanley estimates
Morgan Stanley estimates that the Chinese equity market will emerge as the best performer in 2023.
The MSCI China index will reach 80 and the Hang Seng index will rise to 24,500 by the end of the year, Morgan Stanley's Chief China Equity Strategist Laura Wang said. This would mark around a 15% upside from where the market is trading now.
"This actually implies that the Chinese equity market will actually top the global equity market performance for 2023, so this is the time to get back into China," she noted.
Wang's recommendation is to buy the stocks of large-cap and highly liquid internet names.
The internet sector has "very high correlation with the general momentum of consumption pickup in China," especially in the country's post Covid recovery journey, she said.
Wang added many global institutional investors are still quite significantly underweight on these large cap liquid names.
—Lee Ying Shan
CNBC Pro: 'Absolutely unique': Fund manager names 2 stocks to play the semiconductor sector
Semiconductor stocks are looking up after a rough 2022 — and fund manager Trent Masters says two stocks are well placed to ride out the volatility.
Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Zavier Ong
Oil prices climb on more China reopening optimism and demand rebound
Oil prices are supported on further China reopening optimism and fuel demand, with OPEC forecasting that Chinese oil demand is on track for a bounce.
Brent crude futures rose 0.85% to $86.65 a barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures gained 0.91% to $80.91 a barrel.
"Chinese oil demand is on course to rebound due to the recent relaxation of the country's zero-Covid measures," OPEC's monthly oil report stated.
It added that China's first quarter oil demand will rebound from an annual decline of 0.3 million barrels per day year-on-year in 2022's fourth quarter to 0.2 million barrels per day annualized growth.
– Lee Ying Shan
Japanese yen weakens after BoJ announces no change to yield curve range
The Japanese yen weakened against the greenback after the Bank of Japan surprised markets by keeping its yield curve tolerance band unchanged.
The Japanese yen weakened 2.04% against the U.S. dollar after the announcement and last stood at 130.94.
"Japan's economy is projected to continue growing at a pace above its potential growth rate," the central bank said in a statement.
The Bank of Japan also left its interest rate unchanged at an ultra-dovish -0.1% – in line with expectations and maintaining the same rate it's kept since 2016.
—Jihye Lee, Lee Ying Shan
Gaming shares jump after China grants license approvals
Hong Kong listed gaming stocks rose after China granted license approvals for 88 games, amongst which include NetEase, Tencent Holdings and miHoYo, marking a further easing of Beijing's gaming crackdown.
Shares of NetEase jumped as high as 6.81% in early trade, notching its highest in more than four months. Tencent stocks added 0.11%.
–Lee Ying Shan
Bank of Japan likely to lift yield curve control another 50 basis points: UBS
Japan's central bank is likely to broaden its 10-year treasury yield curve control range by another 50 basis points to a range of 1% below and above its 0% target, UBS Global Wealth Management executive director Tan Teck Leng said.
"The scenario of a completely abandonment of the YCC is unlikely," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia," adding a move would be "uncharacteristic" of the central bank.
"I think the easiest for them to do is remove the cap, let it find fair value – but then again it comes to very big uncertainties, which is why we think that, as a middle ground, they have to at least raise it to a 1.0% cap," he said.
The yield on the 10-year Japanese Government Bonds exceeded the upper ceiling of its band for a 5th straight session on Wednesday morning ahead of the BOJ's monetary policy announcement.
– Jihye Lee
Japan's core manufacturing orders for November slump more than expected
Japan's private-sector manufacturing orders for November fell 8.3% compared to the previous month, according to official data.
The drop was significantly larger than Reuters' expectations of a 0.9% decline. On an annualized basis, manufacturing orders fell 3.7%.
The private-sector machinery figures exclude orders from volatile ones for ships and electric power companies.
—Lee Ying Shan
CNBC Pro: Thinking of jumping back into Big Tech? This investor is wary of 2 stocks in particular
Investors have been getting back into tech stocks, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading all three major Wall Street indexes since the start of the year, rising over 6%.
But fund manager Trent Masters of Alphinity Investment Management isn't convinced — and told CNBC Pro Talks last week which two Big Tech stocks might be worth avoiding for now.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Weizhen Tan
CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley says cheaper EVs are coming — and names the global stocks set to benefit
As electric cars become increasingly popular, a new manufacturing technique that could make them more affordable is garnering interest, according to Morgan Stanley.
Some automakers are outsourcing the process which could benefit three leading Asian parts suppliers, said the Wall Street bank.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Ganesh Rao
Stocks end the day mixed, Dow falls almost 400 points
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index fell to end the day, as Goldman Sachs shares weighed on the stock index.
The Dow lost 391.76 points, or 1.14%, to close at 33,910.85. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 3,990.97. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.14% to end the day at 11,095.11.
— Tanaya Macheel
Bank of America sees a later start to the recession
A recession probably won't start now until later in 2023 as consumer spending has been stronger than expected and the Federal Reserve eases up on the intensify of its interest rate hikes, according to Bank of America.
"We push back the timing of our outlook for a mild recession in the US economy by about one quarter given durability in consumer spending on account of strong labor markets, excess saving, declining energy prices, and easier financial conditions," the firm said in a client note. "That said, we think the headwinds will lead consumers to reduce spending and push the saving rate higher as the year progresses."
That puts the recession into the second quarter, driven by a an investment-led slowdown leaking to consumer spending.
After pushing its benchmark borrowing rate up by 4.25 percentage points in 2022, the Fed is expected to ease back, with a 0.25 percentage point increase in February. That is forecast to be followed by additional quarter-point increases in March and May.
Rate cuts likely won't come until 2024, the firm said.
Goldman Sachs shares fall on earnings miss
Goldman Sachs shares declined 2.4% after the Wall Street investment bank shared fourth-quarter earnings results that missed analysts' expectations on both the top and bottom lines.
The bank reported earnings of $3.32 per share on $10.59 billion in revenues. Consensus estimates called for earnings of $5.48 a share on revenues of $10.83 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Provisions for credit losses also came in slightly above expectations.
— Hugh Son, Samantha Subin