Asia markets rise as oil surges after surprise OPEC+ cut; investors digest factory data

Lim Hui Jie

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

Aerial view of oil and gas jack-up rig at the yard for maintenance with many vessels in Singapore. Oil prices saw three consecutive weekly declines last week, marking the longest losing run this year.

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose on Monday as investors further digested key manufacturing data in the region.

Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) surged as much as 8% after OPEC+ members agreed to cut more than 1 million barrels per day to extend through the end of 2023.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.63% to end the day at 7,223, while in Japan, the Nikkei 225 was 0.5% higher to finish at 28,188.15 and the Topix rose 0.51% to close at 2,017.68.

South Korea's Kospi was down 0.22 to close at 2,472.34, while the Kosdad closed 0.88% up at 854.96.

Mainland Chinese markets were also up, with the Shenzhen Component gaining 1.39% to finish at 11,889.42 and the Shanghai Composite rising 0.74% to end the day at 3,296.4.

On the other hand, the Hang Seng index fell by 0.14%, while the Hang Seng Tech index saw a larger loss of 0.4%.

Japan's factory activity showed a softer contraction in five months. The manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 49.2% for March, higher than February's figure of 47.7%, based on a private survey.

.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI30,526.88UNCHUNCH
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI17,195.84UNCHUNCH
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2006,907.80+17.60+0.26%
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1007,884.82-96.18-1.21%

U.S. stocks on Friday rose Friday after the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge showed a cooler-than-expected increase in prices.

The core personal consumption expenditures index, which excludes energy and food costs, rose 0.3% in February, less than the 0.4% expected. All three major US indexes closed higher, with the Nasdaq Composite leading gains at 1.74% up.

— CNBC's Brian Evans and Hakyung Kim contributed to this report

Mon, Apr 3 2023 12:21 AM EDT

Tesla’s Asia suppliers mostly rise on Musk's reported visit to China in April

Tesla suppliers in Asia mostly rose after a report said Elon Musk is planning to visit China to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, citing people familiar.

Japan's Panasonic rose 2.45% in Asia's afternoon trade, alongside South Korea's Samsung SDI rising by more than 1%. LG Chem inched up 0.3%.

Shenzhen-listed shares of Hengdian Group DMEGC Magnetics rose 2.28% and Anhui Shiny Electronic Technology gained 1.23%.

Meanwhile, Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, fell 1.6% in mainland China.

— Jihye Lee

Mon, Apr 3 2023 2:06 AM EDT

Indonesia inflation comes in lower than expected for March at 2.94%

Indonesia's core inflation rate for March slowed to 2.94% year-on-year in March , down from the 3.09% recorded in February.

The core inflation rate - which was also lower than analysts expectations of 3.05% - excludes government-controlled prices and volatile food prices.

Headline inflation in Southeast Asia's largest economy came in at 4.97% on a year-on-year basis, lower than February's figure of 5.47% and below expectations of 5.2%.

Indonesia's central bank has set a target for core inflation to "remain under control" in a "target corridor" of between 2% and 4% in the first half of 2023.

— Lim Hui Jie

Mon, Apr 3 2023 12:20 AM EDT

Reserve Bank of Australia widely expected to hike 25 basis points Tuesday

The Reserve Bank of Australia is widely expected to raise its benchmark overnight cash rate by 25 basis points on Tuesday to 3.85%, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

The central bank in its March meeting increased its cash rate by a quarter-point to 3.6%, reiterating its aim to return the economy's inflation back to its target range of 2% to 3%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Gareth Aird expects the central bank to pause instead, citing mixed opinions from the firm.

"In what we believe is a very close call, we expect the RBA to leave the cash rate on hold at 3.6%. We ascribe a 55% chance to no change and a 45% probability to a 25bp rate increase to 3.85% (we consider the risk of any other move immaterial)," Aird said in a Monday note.

"The domestic economy is now showing sufficient signs of slowing and we expect the RBA Board will judge that a pause in the tightening cycle is the appropriate move in April," CBA said.

— Jihye Lee

Sun, Apr 2 2023 10:34 PM EDT

South Korea sees steepest contraction in factory activity in six months: S&P Global

South Korea's purchasing managers index in March fell to 47.6 compared to 48.5 in February, its steepest contraction in six months.

A PMI figure of above 50 indicates expansion, while a figure below 50 indicates contraction.

According to a private survey by S&P Global, the March data indicated an eleventh consecutive monthly decrease in output at Seoul's manufacturers.

South Korea also recorded a decline in industrial output for February, led primarily by semiconductor companies.

Members surveyed largely attributed the decline to muted domestic and external demand conditions, while S&P Global also noted that sustained economic weakness and poor client confidence had placed downward pressure on sales.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 2 2023 9:56 PM EDT

China's Caixin manufacturing PMI misses estimates

China's Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for March was 50, missing estimates of 51.7 by economists polled by Reuters.

The reading for March fell from 51.6 seen in February, which was above the 50-level mark that separates growth from contraction.

China's official PMI for March stood at 51.9, higher than expectations of 51.5 from a Reuters survey.

– Jihye Lee

Sun, Apr 2 2023 9:55 PM EDT

Australia's building approvals rose 4% in February

Australia's building approvals rose 4% month-on-month in February, government data showed on Monday.

Private sector houses approved rose 11.3% in February, while private sector dwellings excluding houses fell 9.5%. The value of total building rose 19.7% and the value of non-residential building rose 39.8%.

Year-on-year, building approvals fell 31.1%.

– Jihye Lee

Sun, Apr 2 2023 9:39 PM EDT

ASEAN factory activity expands again although growth rate slows

The ASEAN region recorded its 18th straight month of growth in its manufacturing sector, according to a private survey by S&P Global.

The region's manufacturing purchasing managers index stood at 51, a slight fall from February's figure of 51.5.

S&P Global noted this was due to further improvement in operating conditions across four of the seven ASEAN constituents, with Myanmar leading growth for the first time in 32 months. The country's PMI hit a record high of 55.5 in March.

Thailand and the Philippines rounded off the top three performers in region with March PMI figures of 53.1 and 52.5 respectively. Vietnam was the worst performer with its PMI coming in at 47.7 in March.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 2 2023 9:21 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: Goldman and others are bullish on copper. Here are some stock ideas that analysts love

The demand surge in metals such as copper, nickel and lithium "has only just begun," according to Goldman Sachs.

Demand for copper in particular is set to rise to 17% of total demand for so-called green metals by 2030, according to the bank, from 7% currently.

For those considering buying into copper, CNBC Pro screened for stocks in the Global X Copper Miners ETF as well as the Sprott Junior Copper Miners ETF.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Sun, Apr 2 2023 9:15 PM EDT

Japan factory activity shows a softer contraction in five months

Japan's manufacturing purchasing managers index has risen to 49.2 for March, higher than February's figure of 47.7, according to a private survey by the au Jibun bank.

Despite still remaining in contraction territory for a fifth straight month, the bank said this was "a softer deterioration in the overall health of the Japanese manufacturing sector. The negative reading was only mild, and the softest in the current five-month sequence."

A PMI reading of above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

The survey said a contributing factor to the sub-50 PMI reading was a further contraction in output levels."The downturn was only modest and reportedly the result of weak customer demand."

— Lim Hui Jie

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that Japan's PMI figure from au Jibun bank is 49.2 in March.

Sun, Apr 2 2023 8:06 PM EDT

Oil futures surge at open after OPEC announces surprise cut

Oil futures surged as much as 8% at the open after OPEC+ members announced to cut a total of more than 1 million barrels per day to extend through the end of 2023.

Brent crude futures last rose 5.98% to $84.67 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) jumped 6.04% to $80.24 a barrel.

This comes after oil prices rebounded last week and saw a week-to-date gain of more than 9%.

The latest announcement is an "an unwelcome start to the new week for risk markets and policymakers still dealing with sticky inflation and the fallout of the recent banking crisis," IG's Tony Sycamore said in a Monday note.

National Australia Bank added that the unexpected announcement will likely add pressure to European economies, where core inflation rose slightly last month.

See Chart...

— Jihye Lee

Fri, Mar 31 2023 3:05 PM EDT

Fed's Williams says banking crisis will play a role in assessing next rate move

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said Friday that the central bank is steadfast in its commitment to bring down inflation but is watching what is happening in the world of finance.

In a speech delivered in Connecticut, Williams said inflation "remains a top concern" and noted that the Fed must "use its monetary policy tools to bring inflation down."

However, he noted some of the tumult recently in the banking system and indicated he will be watching the situation closely.

"I will be particularly focused on assessing the evolution of credit conditions and their effects on the outlook for growth, employment, and inflation," he said.

—Jeff Cox

Fri, Mar 31 2023 9:46 AM EDT

Gold on pace for best month since 2020

Gold is on pace to post a monthly price gain that hasn't been seen in more than two years.

With just Friday's session left in the March trading month, gold is on pace to finish 9% higher. That would be its best monthly performance since July 2020, when the metal rallied 10.3%

If a Friday selloff pushes its monthly advance below 7.8%, March would instead become the metal's best month since May 2021.

Gold prices were steady early Friday.

— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla

Fri, Mar 31 2023 8:38 AM EDT

Bullish inflation reading

Futures got a boost after an inflation gauge followed by the Federal Reserve came in lighter than expected. The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy increased 0.3% for the month, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That was below the 0.4% Dow Jones estimate and lower than the January increase.

-John Melloy, Jeff Cox

Fri, Mar 31 2023 7:24 AM EDT

Bank borrowing from Fed emergency programs declined

Emergency borrowing at the Federal Reserve's discount window fall last week, raising some hope that the banking crisis could be receding.

Primary credit lending totaled $88.2 billion while banks took out $64.4 billion through the Fed's new Bank Term Funding Program, according to Fed data released Thursday that covered the period from March 22-29.

That total of $152.6 billion was down slightly from $164 billion the week before. The Fed instituted the BTFP and relaxed rules on the discount window following the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in early March.

Banks generally don't like the use the discount window as it signals that they are under stress and can't raise capital in the private marketplace.

—Jeff Cox

View the full site