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Asia markets reverse losses as investors digest China industrial data and Australian inflation figures

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

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: People sit at an outdoor table near a cafe in the CBD on January 31, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. On July 6, 2022 the Australian government lifted all COVID-19 requirements for locals and travelers ending a two-year long restriction period. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
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Asia-Pacific markets reversed losses to trade mostly higher on Wednesday as investors assessed China's industrial data and Australia's August inflation figures.

Australia's weighted inflation rate climbed 5.2% year on year in August, in line with expectations from economists polled by Reuters, while headline inflation came in at 5.5%.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 was the only major index in negative territory, slipping 0.11% to end at 7,030.3.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rebounded to close 0.18% up at 32,371.9, and the Topix advanced 0.32% to end at 2,379.53.

South Korea's Kospi climbed in the afternoon session to end marginally higher at 2,465.07, while the Kosdaq gained 1.59% to snap an eight day losing streak at 841.02.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.7% in its final hour, reversing losses from Tuesday, while the mainland CSI 300 index also inched up 0.21% to close at 3,700.5.


Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes saw a sell off after the latest home sales and consumer confidence reports stoked concern over the state of the U.S. economy, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average seeing its worst day since March.

The Dow lost 1.14% and closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since May. The S&P 500 slipped 1.47%, closing below 4,300 for the first time since June 9, while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 1.57%.

— CNBC's Sarah Min and Brian Evans contributed to this report

China's economic growth expected to be 'slightly more' than 5%: Reuters

China's economy is expected to expand slightly more than 5% this year, an advisor to the People's Bank of China said on Wednesday.

Reuters reported that Wang Yiming, a member of the PBOC Monetary Policy Committee, said that China's economic situation is very different from that of Japan in the 1990s, and there is no basis for the feared "Japanification."

The term refers to the low growth that Japan faced after an asset bubble burst in the early 1990s, leading to about two decades of sluggish activity, deflation, asset price declines and financial stress.

The comments come a day after HSBC lowered its growth forecast for China's gross domestic product for this year from 5.3% to 4.9%, and its 2024 GDP growth forecast from 4.9% to 4.6%.

— Lim Hui Jie, Reuters

China industrial profits see softer fall in August

For the first eight months of the year, profits at China's industrial firms extended a double-digit drop, but the pace of declines eased slightly in August.

Profits fell 11.7% year on year as of August, a smaller contraction than the 15.5% drop for the first seven months.

China's National Bureau of Statistics said the profits of industrial enterprises climbed 17.2% year on year in August, which is the first monthly growth since the second half of 2022.

— Lim Hui Jie

Bank of Japan members split over when to raise interest rates in July meeting, minutes show

Japan's central bank board was split over when should the Bank of Japan should start to raise interest rates, according to minutes from its monetary policy meeting in July.

This was in light of inflation then hitting 15 straight months above the BOJ's 2% inflation target.

A member said that there is a "still a significantly long way to go before revising the negative interest rate policy, and the framework of yield curve control needed to be maintained."

However, a different member noted that achievement of the 2% "in a sustainable and stable manner" seemed to have "clearly come in sight" and that it would be possible to assess if the BOJ would achieve this target around January to March next year.

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: This cutting-edge British chip designer's shares are set to soar over 100%, says Jefferies

Shares of a British chip designer are set to soar by over 100% over the next 12 months, according to Jefferies

The investment bank believes the company is designing chips for American Big Tech firms, which is expected to increase its profit margins.

The chip stock is also seen as "one of the key potential beneficiaries" of the growing trend in artificial intelligence applications.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Hong Kong trade sees smaller declines in August

Hong Kong's trade declined at a slower rate in August, with imports and exports falling by 0.3% and 3.7% year on year respectively.

This is compared to July's drop of 7.9% for imports and 9.1% for exports.

Total trade for August came in at 742.18 million Hong Kong dollars, a 2% fall year on year.

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Forget India: One portfolio manager bucks the trend, says another market offers ‘great value’

India's growth prospects have seen many investors and big-name banks turn bullish on the country, but portfolio manager Kamil Dimmich says he's steering clear.

"We are probably in the minority in here [and] we don't mind being in the minority," Dimmich from North of South Capital told CNBC Pro Talks last week.

Instead, he revealed an emerging market he says offers "great value," with two of his favorite stocks.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

CNBC Pro: 'I believe in the sector': Investing in K-pop? Bernstein is a fan of this stock

K-pop is a music phenomenon that stretches far beyond South Korea — and for investors wanting to cash in, there are just a few major agencies behind its more than 300 groups.

Bokyung Suh, director and senior research analyst at Bernstein, is bullish on one of them in particular and shares a key reason behind his outperform rating on the stock.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Lim Hui Jie

Dow falls below 200-day moving average

Tuesday's sell-off pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average below its 200-day moving average, a key long-term technical level. The move suggests the benchmark's long-term momentum may be waning.

FactSet

The Dow hasn't closed below that level since May.

— Fred Imbert

S&P 500 dips below 4,300 for the first time since June 9

All three major indices accelerated losses Tuesday morning after the release of disappointing economic data.

The S&P 500 fell roughly 1% to 4,295, its lowest level since June 9. Year to date, the index is still up nearly 12%.

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August new home sales fell short of analyst expectations and were also down 8.7% from July, according to the Commerce Department. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index also missed expectations, falling to 103 in September from 108.7 in August.

Comments made by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon anticipating additional room for rates to rise also pushed stocks down earlier this morning.

— Lisa Kailai Han, Jeff Cox

Oil prices continue ascent this quarter

A strong past few months for oil prices is putting crude on pace for its best quarter in more than a year.

With just days left in the trading month and quarter, both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are on pace for their first straight month of price gains. That means, if it holds, both will have climbed in price every month of the third quarter.

WTI has gained about 26.1% since the quarter began, while Brent has climbed around 23.8% in the same period. With those advances, both are on pace to post their best quarters since the first quarter in 2022.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla

Tesla falls after report that EU will probe EV maker over China exports

Tesla shares were down more than 1% after a European Union trade official told The Financial Times that the company, along with other carmakers in Europe that export from China, will face an investigation over whether the EV makers are unfair subsidies.

"Strictly speaking, it's not limited only to Chinese brand electrical vehicles, it can be also other producers' vehicles if they are receiving production-side subsidies," EU executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis told The FT.

— Fred Imbert