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Asia markets rise as Wall Street lifted by hopes of debt ceiling deal

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

Perth, Australia
Brendon Thorne | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets rose on hopes of U.S President Joe Biden and congressional leaders inching closer to a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a default.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that a "better process" is now in place for further talks, saying it's "possible to get a deal by the end of the week." Biden shortened his trip to Asia to focus on the negotiations, the White House said.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.6%, leading gains in the region and closing at 30,573.93 and the Topix was up 1.14% to close at 2,157.85 as investors further digested Japan's trade data for April – imports fell further than expected while exports growth saw a two-year low on weakened China demand.

South Korea's Kospi gained 0.83% and ended at 2,515.4 and the Kosdaq gained 0.2% to finish at 835.89.

Stocks in Australia also rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 lower by 0.52% and ending at 7,236.8 as the country's unemployment rate came in at 3.7% in April, higher than the 3.5% expected by economists.

"A second consecutive day of softer domestic data will likely be enough to keep a hawkish Reserve Bank of Australia from raising rates again when it meets in June," IG analyst Tony Sycamore said in an email.


Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rebounded after Wednesday's late sell-off, climbing 0.78% on Wednesday.

However, mainland Chinese markets ended the day mixed, with the Shenzhen Component losing 0.12% and closing at 11.078.28, and the Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to end at 3,297.32.

Stocks on Wall Street closed higher on Wednesday, with all three major indexes gained over 1%, with the Nasdaq Composite gaining the most at 1.28%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.24% and the S&P 500 gained 1.19%.

— CNBC's Sarah Min and Alex Harring contributed to this report

Philippines' central bank holds rates for first time in a year

The central bank of the Philippines held its benchmark policy rate at 6.25%, marking the first pause since May 2022, when it first hiked rates to combat inflation by 25 basis points.

Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised rates for nine consecutive times from 2.0% to the current rate of 6.25% over a span of a year.

The Philippine peso traded at 55.980 against the U.S. dollar, overall unchanged following the decision which was widely expected by economists surveyed by Reuters.

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–Jihye Lee

Sony shares surge 6% as it eyes separate listing for financial unit

Japanese conglomerate Sony Group is mulling a partial spin off of its financial business in the next two to three years.

Sony said that this will be on the consideration that the group will continue to own a portion - slightly less than 20%, Sony says of the spin off.

This is "so that the financial services business can continue to utilize the Sony brand, and continue to generate synergies with Sony Group companies after the execution of the spin-off."

The financial unit reported a revenue of 1.45 trillion yen ($10.74 billion) in the financial year ended March, while operating profit came in at 223.9 billion yen for the full year.

Shares of Sony closed 6.4% higher on Thursday.

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— Lim Hui Jie

Sony shares surge 6% as it eyes separate listing for financial unit

Japanese conglomerate Sony Group is mulling a partial spin off of its financial business in the next two to three years.

Sony said that this will be on the consideration that the group will continue to own a portion - slightly less than 20%, Sony says of the spin off.

This is "so that the financial services business can continue to utilize the Sony brand, and continue to generate synergies with Sony Group companies after the execution of the spin-off."

The financial unit reported a revenue of 1.45 trillion yen ($10.74 billion) in the financial year ended March, while operating profit came in at 223.9 billion yen for the full year.

Shares of Sony closed 6.4% higher on Thursday.

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— Lim Hui Jie

Shares of Tencent slide over 3% despite better first quarter results

Shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent in Hong Kong have slid over 3% even as the company reported an 11% jump in quarterly revenue to 150 billion Chinese yuan ($21.4 billion)

This marked its fastest growth in more than a year, as the company saw a big rebound in payment volumes, ad sales, and gaming.

Net profit climbed 10% to 25.8 billion yuan, lower than than the 31 billion yuan expected by economists polled by Reuters.

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— Lim Hui Jie, Ryan Browne

CNBC Pro: Analyst says this EV stock is 'head and shoulders' above others

Competition in China's electric vehicle market has "just begun," says consulting firm Sino Auto Insights.

The EV market in China has been roiled by Tesla's aggressive price cuts and the country's government ending subsidies for electric car buyers. 

But Sino Auto Insights' managing director, Tu Le, is still bullish on EV giant Tesla and its Chinese counterpart BYD.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Lee Ying Shan

Japanese stocks extend winning streak, led by energy and technology stocks

Japanese markets extended their winning streak on Thursday, with the Nikkei 225 leading gains in the region and continuing to trade above the 30,000 mark.

The Topix maintained levels not seen since August 1990.

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Energy and technology stocks led the Topix, with its top gainers being Sony and electronics company Tokyo Electron.

Meanwhile, Factset revealed that electronics stocks powered the Nikkei, with the top gainer on the index being semiconductor test equipment manufacturer Advantest, followed by Tokyo Electron.

— Lim Hui Jie