Asia markets mixed as Australia inflation slows and China industrial profits sink

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

People walk along Lonsdale Street during the Boxing Day sales on December 26, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
Diego Fedele | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as the region digests May inflation figures out of Australia and China releases its industrial profits for May.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.10% to close at 7,196.5, with the index seeing its largest one-day gain since April 11.

The country saw a lower-than-expected weighted inflation rate of 5.6% in May. Economists polled by Reuters expected the country's inflation rate to ease to 6.1%, compared with the 6.8% recorded in April.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rebounded more than 2% after three straight days of losses, crossing the 33,000 mark and closing at 33,193.99. The Topix also surged almost 2%, ending the day at 2,298.6.

In contrast, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.67% to end at 2,564.19, while the Kosdaq was down 0.82%, with both indexes recording a second straight day of losess.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index reversed earlier losses to climb 0.3% in its final hour of trade. However, mainland Chinese markets were in negative territory as China's industrial profits sank 18.8% in first five months of 2023.

The Shanghai Composite was down marginally to end the day at 3,189.38, while the Shenzhen Component saw a larger loss of 0.47%, closing at 10,926.32.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes climbed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 0.63 % and marking its first gain seven days.

The Nasdaq Composite surged 1.65% as investors piled back into tech stocks, and the S&P 500 advanced 1.15%.

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

A.I. is not in a hype cycle, it's 'transformational technology,' says Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives

A.I. is not in a hype cycle, it's 'transformational technology,' says Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives
A.I. is not in a hype cycle, it's transformational tech, says Wedbush's Dan Ives

Dan Ives, managing director and senior equity research analyst at Wedbush Securities, says A.I. is not just hype but is something that will "change the tech space for the next 20-30 years."

U.S. considering new chip restrictions on China: WSJ

The U.S. is considering new restrictions on exports of artificial intelligence chips to China, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported the U.S. Commerce Department could stop shipments of chips made by Nvidia and other companies to customers in China as early as July.

Shares of mainland Chinese semiconductor companies tumbled on Wednesday, with SMIC losing 2.42% and Hua Hong Semiconductor sliding 3.19%

— Lim Hui Jie

Chinese yuan slips after weaker-than-expected mid-point fix

The onshore yuan slipped by 0.1% to around 7.23 yuan per U.S. dollar after China refrained from setting a stronger-than-expected fix for a third day in a row. The offshore yuan was trading similarly.

The People's Bank of China set its daily mid-point reference rate for its managed currency at 7.2101 yuan per U.S. dollar, versus a Reuters estimate for 7.2092 yuan per U.S. dollar.

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— Clement Tan

Australia weighted inflation rate slows to 5.6% in May, sharply below expectations

Australia's weighted inflation rate for May came in at 5.6%, sharply lower than April's figure of 6.8% and lower than the 6.1% expected by economists polled by Reuters.

Headline inflation for May came in at 5.8%, lower than April's figure of 6.9%. It was the lowest recorded rate since April 2022.

— Lim Hui Jie

China industrial profits sank 18.8% in first five months of 2023

China's industrial firms recorded a 18.8% tumble in cumulative profits in the first five months of 2023 from the year before, official data showed on Wednesday.

This figure was 1.8 percentage points lower than the 20.6% decline in China industrial profits for January to April, China's National Statistics Bureau said in a statement.

In monthly figures occasionally published by the NBS, China industrial profits contracted by 12.6% in May from a year earlier.

— Clement Tan

CNBC Pro: Fund manager makes bold call that oil prices will double, picks stocks to cash in

Bill Smead, chief investment officer at Smead Capital Management, has a bold market call: that oil prices could soar more than 100% in the next few years.

The picture painted by OPEC earlier this week also suggests strong demand well into the future.

Two fund managers name their favorite stocks to play the possible rise in crude prices.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs names 5 tech stocks set for a profit boost, giving one 50% upside

Goldman Sachs has named the tech stocks it expects to become more profitable over the next two years.

The Wall Street bank said it has seen a shift in the mindset of company executives from prioritizing growth to profitability.

Goldman Sachs believes that the bulk of the margin expansion is yet to come as companies start to realize the full benefits of cost-cutting measures implemented in the first half of 2023.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about the 5 stocks here.

— Ganesh Rao

Airline, travel stocks soar as Delta boosts outlook

Travel stocks took off across the board on Tuesday after Delta Air Lines lifted its financial outlook and signaled that the post-pandemic travel boom is here to stay.

The news from Delta boosted shares 6% during afternoon trading, and lifted competitors United Airlines and American Airlines by more than 5% each. Southwest and JetBlue jumped 3.7% and 9.8%, respectively.

Cruise stocks also soared on Tuesday, bucking Monday's selloff trend. Carnival was last up more than 8%, while Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line added more than 4% each. Airbnb, Booking Holdings and Expedia each gained about 4%.

— Samantha Subin

Technology, consumer discretionary stocks among S&P 500 gainers

Information technology and consumer discretionary stocks were among the biggest winners in the S&P 500 during midday trading.

Gains from the likes of technology giants Nvidia, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tesla lifted both sectors more than 1% each. Travel stocks Expedia, Carnival, Booking Holdings and Norwegian Cruise Line also gained, boosting the consumer discretionary sector 1.4%.

The industrials sector rose 1%, benefitting from surging airline stocks. Delta, American Airlines and United jumped more than 4% each. Generac and Old Dominion soared more than 8% and 6%, respectively.

Just two sectors — utilities and health care — dipped into negative territory. A sell off in shares of Illumina, Amgen, CVS Health and Danaher following a disappointing quarter and guidance from Walgreens Boots Alliance contributed to the 0.5% loss in health care.

— Samantha Subin

The Federal Reserve could trigger a recession in the early months of 2024, Seth Klarman says

A recession could hit the U.S. economy early next year, according to Baupost Group chief executive officer Seth Klarman.

"The goal of the Fed is to reduce the heat in the economy, and one way to do that is to trigger some kind of recession," Klarman told CNBC's "Squawk Box" Tuesday. "It's been slow developing, [and] some people think that the excess cash in people's pockets will start to run out around year-end, so maybe it's an early 2024 event"

— Brian Evans

Consumer confidence improved more than anticipated in June

The outlook from consumers brightened more than expected in June even with an expected recession on the horizon, The Conference Board reported Tuesday.

Consumer confidence for the month rose to an index value of 109.7, up from 102.5 in May and better than the Dow Jones estimate for 104. That was the highest reading since January 2022.

New questions focused on household finance showed 30% of families expecting their situations to improve in the next six months against just 14% seeing worsening conditions. The survey also showed a decline in those expecting a recession, though still at 69.3% from the 73.2% in May.

—Jeff Cox