Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Monday, with investors awaiting a slew of key economic data Tuesday and inflation readings later this week.
Inflation readings for Tokyo will be released Tuesday, which is widely seen as a leading indicator for nationwide trends. South Korea inflation numbers will also be out the same day.
The Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its final meeting for the year tomorrow, with economists polled by Reuters expecting the bank to hold rates at 4.35%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1% in its final hour of trade after making earlier gains, while the mainland Chinese CSI 300 index slipped 0.65% to hit its lowest since February 2019.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.73% and closed at 7,124.7, leading gains among major benchmarks in Asia-Pacific and hitting its highest level since Sept. 20.
South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4% to end at 2,514.95, while the small-cap Kosdaq pared earlier gains to rise 0.15%, ending at 828.52.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.6% to 33,321.27, while the Topix fell 0.83% to close at 2,362.65.
This came despite U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pushing back against the market's expectations for interest rate cuts ahead, saying it was "premature to conclude with confidence" that monetary policy was "sufficiently restrictive."
— CNBC's Sarah Min and Alex Harring contributed to this report
Global debt is 'extremely worrying' but may not lead to a crisis this year, says David Roche
Veteran investor David Roche said Monday he was "very worried" about the amount of global debt, but reassured that it would not be a top crisis this year as inflation continues to ebb.
There's a mismatch in the rate at which debt is increasing and our capacity to pay for it, warned Roche.
He said he is certain that mounting debt will be a major crisis, but not the top crisis of the year as interest rates continue to fall.
"Interest rates will be on the way down rather than up and that will save us all again to fight another day," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Monday.
Global debt increased by $10 trillion in the first half of 2023, bringing it to a record high of $307 trillion.
— Charmaine Jacob
Gold prices notch new record, analysts say there's still room to rise
Spot gold prices notched a new record on Monday for a second straight day, rising to a high of $2,110.8 per ounce before giving up some gains. It is currently trading at $2,084.28.
Analysts who spoke to CNBC noted that the yellow metal's price is on course to hit fresh highs next year, citing geopolitical uncertainty, a likely weaker U.S. dollar and possible interest rate cuts.
"The anticipated retreat in both the USD and interest rates across 2024 are key positive drivers for gold," said Heng Koon How, UOB's head of markets strategy, global economics and markets research, who expects gold prices could reach up to $2,200 by the end of 2024.
Read more here.
— Lee Ying Shan
Evergrande shares rise as court hearing postponed, refutes report that it was never profitable
Shares of Evergrande Group rose over 9% as the beleaguered Chinese property firm's court hearing over its possible liquidation was postponed to Jan. 29, 2024.
The firm was originally scheduled to face a Hong Kong court hearing on Monday over a petition from a creditor seeking to wind up the company.
Over the weekend, GMT Research issued a report alleging that the company had inflated its revenue for a decade, and that the it was never profitable, which Evergrande refuted.
Read the full story here.
— Lim Hui Jie
CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley fund manager names 4 top stocks to buy 'on the cheap’
Stocks have faced a mixed environment this year, according to one portfolio manager — but several should provide good investment opportunities looking ahead following a broadening of the market.
When pressed on what stocks make good plays, Dunn responded with four names, adding: "There's a lot of opportunities out there to pick up really good companies on the cheap."
— Amala Balakrishner
Powell says rate cut talks are 'premature' and more hikes could come
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell described discussion of cutting interest rates as "premature," saying more hikes could be on the horizon.
"It would be premature to conclude with confidence that we have achieved a sufficiently restrictive stance, or to speculate on when policy might ease," Powell said in prepared remarks for an audience at Spelman College in Atlanta. "We are prepared to tighten policy further if it becomes appropriate to do so."
His remarks come ahead of the central bank's next meeting on Dec. 12-13. The Fed has kept rates level at its last two meetings.
"The strong actions we have taken have moved our policy rate well into restrictive territory, meaning that tight monetary policy is putting downward pressure on economic activity and inflation," Powell said. "Monetary policy is thought to affect economic conditions with a lag, and the full effects of our tightening have likely not yet been felt."
— Alex Harring, Jeff Cox
CNBC Pro: Here's where to invest $250,000 for the next 5 years
Major changes have taken place in the economy over the past five years.
A long-standing zero-interest rate regime has given way to rising rates, leading to higher borrowing costs — a situation usually bad for stocks.
But the red-hot inflation that characterized the past couple of years is now cooling, raising several questions for investors: How will this affect stocks and interest rates?
CNBC Pro spoke to financial advisors and investment experts to find out how they would allocate $250,000 over the next five years. They came up with three types of portfolios that cater to investors with different risk appetites.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Weizhen Tan
Oil falls more than 2% on OPEC skepticism, U.S. rig count
Oil prices continued their slide on Friday amid disappointment with OPEC+ production cuts and as U.S. oil rigs rose slightly week over week.
Oil has declined about 5% since Wednesday's close despite efforts by OPEC and its allies, OPEC+, to boost prices.
Seven OPEC+ member Thursday promised cuts of 2.2 million bpd for the first quarter of 2024, but traders were skeptical that they would actually deliver.
Meanwhile, U.S. oil rigs rose by 5 week over week, but are down 122 year over year.
— Spencer Kimball
Legacy tech stocks outperform in market rally
Some of the former leaders in the technology sector have enjoyed a strong rally in recent weeks that have helped push the U.S. stock market back near its highest level of the year.
Over the last month, Intel is up more than 16%, and IBM has jumped more than 9%. HP Inc. shares are up more than 10% in that same time frame. Dell was sliding on Friday after its third quarter report, but the stock is still up over 4% in the past month.
"While Nvidia garners all the attention, of all things Intel recently has outperformed. Together with almost daily new highs in IBM and Dell, it's enough to make you think PCs are here to stay. These may not be as much fun as the Mag 7, but that's only true if you define fun as volatility rather than making money. In any event, the real point here is that it is encouraging to see stocks like these acting well, in addition to the Nvidia's of the world," Wellington Shields analyst Frank Gretz said in a note to clients on Friday.
— Jesse Pound
Bank of America forecasts 5000 level for S&P 500 by the end of 2024
Bank of America thinks the benchmark S&P 500 thinks can reach the 5,000 by the end of next year, as Wall Street has already past a point of "maximum macro uncertainty."
Analyst Derek Harris wrote in a Friday note that markets have already "absorbed significant geopolitical shocks," and the Federal Reserve has has so far meaningfully helped tame inflation with rate hikes in 2023. The move higher would mark a roughly 10% increase from current S&P 500 support levels.
"Macro signals are muddled, but idiosyncratic alpha increased this year," Harris wrote. "We're bullish not because we expect the Fed to cut, but because of what the Fed has accomplished. Companies have adapted (as they are wont to do) to higher rates and inflation."
— Brian Evans