Asia markets mixed ahead of Fed meeting and as U.S. inflation rate hits two-year low

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

Seoul city skyline and landmark Namsan tower (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
Ed Jones | Afp | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as the inflation in the U.S. rose at a 4% annual rate in May, the lowest in two years, giving room for the Federal Reserve to pause and skip a rate hike in its June meeting.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 popped 1.47% to close at 33,502.42, recording its fifth straight session of gains. The Topix also climbed 1.31% to end at 2,294.53, its highest level this year.

Shares of Toyota rose to mark the highest in 16 months after the company's shareholders voted to retain Akio Toyoda as its chairman in a broad endorsement of its strategy.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.32% to end at 7,161.7 in a third-straight daily gain.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.82%, while mainland Chinese markets were more mixed, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.14% and the Shenzhen Component up 0.26%.

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.72% to end the day at 2,619.08, continuing to retreat from its year high on June 9, while the Kosdaq tumbled 2.79% to close at 871.83 as the nation's unemployment rate returned to a record low of 2.5% seen last August.

Overnight in the U.S., the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite notched fresh 13-month highs during Tuesday's session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.43%, while the S&P 500 added 0.69%. The Nasdaq Composite posted the largest gains, rising 0.83%. Currently, the S&P is up about 25% from its October low, surpassing the simplistic definition of a bull market.

— CNBC's Samantha Subin and Alex Harring contributed to this report

China's weak economic data should be a 'wake-up call' for more stimulus, KraneShares says

China's weak economic data should be a 'wake-up call' for more stimulus, KraneShares says
China's economic data should be a 'wake-up call' for more stimulus: KraneShares

Xiaolin Chen, head of international at KraneShares, discusses how Chinese policymakers should address the country's economic challenges.

Singapore's full year GDP forecast cut to 1.4 from 1.9%: MAS survey

Singapore's gross domestic product forecasts for full-year 2023 have been cut to 1.4%, according to the survey of professional forecasters released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

This was lower than the 1.9% forecasted in the previous survey sent out in February. In 2024, GDP is projected to expand by 2.5%, the latest survey showed.

The median forecasts for Singapore's headline and core inflation are forecasted to come in at 5% and 4.1% respectively for the whole of 2023, unchanged from the the March survey.

In addition, none of the respondents expect changes to the slope, width and level of Singapore's currency policy band in its October review. Singapore uses exchange rate settings rather than the interest rate as its instrument of monetary policy.

— Lim Hui Jie

Toyota shares hit 16-month high as shareholders endorse board, new EV strategy

Toyota shares hit a 16-month high Wednesday after shareholders voted to retain Akio Toyoda as its chairman in a broad endorsement of the company's board and renewed strategy.

Shareholders also rejected proposals to seek greater disclosures on the Japanese automaker's climate lobbying, while also voting in favor of all 10 proposed members of the board at the company's annual general meeting in Toyota City.

Ahead of the meeting, the world's largest car manufacturer unveiled Tuesday a full lineup of battery electric vehicles with "next generation" batteries it hopes to roll out from 2026. These will be developed and manufactured by a new EV unit called BEV Factory, which was established in May.

Toyota shares were up roughly 4.3% at 1.p.m local time to 2,276 Japanese yen per share — their highest level since February, 2022. They were also outperforming both the Topix and Nikkei benchmarks in Tokyo, which were both up around 1% Wednesday afternoon.

Clement Tan

China’s real estate slump is predicted to last for years

Economists on Wall Street are warning weakness in China's property market could be a drag on the economy for years to come.

"We see persistent weaknesses in the property sector, mainly related to lower-tier cities and private developer financing, and believe there appears no quick fix for them," Goldman Sachs economists led by China economist Lisheng Wang said in a weekend note.

Goldman's economists said the property market is expected to see an "L-shaped recovery" — defined as steep declines followed by a slow recovery rate.

Morgan Stanley in an outlook report added should monetary easing measures fail to support the ailing sector, it will also lead to concerns of a spillover effect in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

A "downside risk would be if China's property sector does not stabilize even with the easing we expect," they said. "In that scenario, confidence and financial conditions will tighten in China, which will have direct implications for China's growth but also will negatively spill over to the region."

– Jihye Lee

Vietnam's electricity shortage is a 'wake-up call' for the government, says economist

Vietnam's electricity shortage is a 'wake-up call' for the government, says economist
Vietnam's electricity shortage is a 'wake-up call' for the government: Economist

Hung Nguyen Quan, senior economist at Dragon Capital, discusses Vietnam's energy mix and the challenges the sector faces.

South Korea's export, import prices fell further in May

South Korea's export prices in May fell 11.2% year-on-year, the most since March 2010, when export prices fell by 12.2%. This comes after prices fell 7.2% in April.

Import prices also fell 12% year-on-year, following a 6% decline the previous month.

The South Korean won weakened by 0.42% to 1,273.02 against the U.S. dollar, while the Kospi rose 1.5%

– Jihye Lee

There's a 'structural change' going on in Japan's business environment, analyst says

There's a 'structural change' going on in Japan's business environment, analyst says
'Structural change' going on in Japan's business environment, analyst says

Dong Chen of Pictet Wealth Management cites signs such as first-quarter gross domestic product numbers and improving domestic consumption.

South Korea unemployment reaches record low in May

South Korea's unemployment rate reached a record low of 2.5% in May, a level last seen in August 2022.

Government data showed that the number of employed persons totaled 28.84 million in May, increasing by 1.2% year-on-year.

The employment to population ratio stood at 63.5% in May, up 0.5% percentage points year-on-year.

Separately, the number of unemployed persons was at 787,000 thousand people in May, down 11.5% year-on-year.

— Lim Hui Jie

CPI comes in at lowest level in 2 years

The consumer price index rose 4% year over year last month, matching a Dow Jones forecast and marking its lowest level in two years. The CPI's month-over-month change and so-called core measure — which strips out volatile food and energy prices — were also in line with expectations.

— Jeff Cox

CNBC Pro: This U.S. stock has risen 10% every year for the past decade — and analysts see more upside ahead

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It is the only major stock among 85,000 to have posted such consistent returns, CNBC Pro has found.

Investment bank analysts also expect the stock to rise by 19% over the next 12 months.

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— Ganesh Rao

CNBC Pro: Analysts reveal a $12 billion opportunity to tap the AI buzz, naming stocks to play it

There's one corner of the semiconductor sector that analysts are particularly bullish on to play the artificial intelligence theme.

Bank of America expects the segment to reach $12 billion by 2027.

Here's how to play it, according to the analysts.

— Weizhen Tan

Stocks close higher ahead of Federal Reserve policy meeting

Stocks closed higher on Tuesday after traders spent the session adding to optimism that the latest inflation data could support the central bank skipping a rate hike for June.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 146 points , or 0.4%, to close at 34,212.12. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% to close at 4,369.01, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8% to 13,573.32.

The consumer price index showed inflation increased 0.1% in May, down from 0.4% a month earlier, and gained 4% year over year. The Fed will decide its next move on policy Wednesday.

— Brian Evans

WTI Crude Futures on track for best day since May

WTI (JUL) gained 3.7% to reach $69.74 Tuesday, on track for its best day since May 5, when it gained 4.05%. This is also the commodity's first positive day in the last four trading sessions.

The VanEck Oil Services ETF (OIH) is also up 4%, on pace for its best day since Jun 2, when OIH gained 5.12%. OIH leaders today include NexTier, Patterson-UTI, Nabors, Transocean, which are all up more than 5% during Tuesday's trading session.

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— Hakyung Kim, Gina Francolla

China internet ETF rises 4%

The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) is up about 4% in Tuesday's session.

That puts it on pace for its best performance since June 1, when the fund finished 4.97% higher.

Baidu has led the index up with a gain of more than 7%. iQIYI and Lufax followed, with each advancing more than 6%.

All U.S. stocks in the index were up in Tuesday's session.

Despite the rally, the ETF is still down more than 4% this year.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla