Australia and Japan trade higher while most Asian markets close for Labor Day

Lim Hui Jie

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

Sydney Harbour taking in the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and ferries at sunrise during the COVID-19 pandemic on April 20, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

Australian and Japanese markets are both trading higher even as most Asian markets are closed for the Labor Day holiday Monday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was 0.92% higher to end the day at 29,123.18, while the Topix was up 1% to finish at 2,078.06. Japan's purchasing managers index for April came in at 49.5, its softest contraction in six months, according to the au Jibun bank.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.35% and closed at 7,334.6, as the country saw its factory activity in April contracting at its fastest pace in 35 months, with private surveys from Juno Bank showing its purchasing managers index standing at 48.

Over the weekend, China's factory activity unexpectedly slipped into contraction territory with its official manufacturing purchasing managers index at 49.2, in contrast to economists expectations of 51.4.

.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI30,647.61+120.73+0.40%
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI17,195.84UNCHUNCH
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2006,891.50+1.30+0.02%
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2,413.42+7.73+0.32%
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1007,890.63+5.40+0.07%

On Friday, the three major indexes in the U.S. all closed higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.8% to notch its best month since January. The S&P 500 added 0.83%, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.69%.

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

Mon, May 1 2023 1:46 AM EDT

Sony shares tumble as much as 4.8% after guidance misses expectations

Shares of Japanese conglomerate Sony tumbled as much as 4.8% on Monday despite the company reporting a record annual operating profit of 1.21 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) for its financial year ending March.

The stock has recovered some ground, and was trading about 1.91% down by early afternoon.

See Chart...

On Friday, Sony forecast its operating profit would come in at 1.17 trillion yen, down 3% year-on-year and lower than analysts forecasts of 1.26 trillion yen.

Sales for the current fiscal year are predicted to come in at 11.5 trillion yen, roughly flat versus last year. However, this is also lower than the 12.16 trillion yen forecasted by analysts.

— Lim Hui Jie

Mon, May 1 2023 12:54 AM EDT

South Korea exports decline for seventh month in a row

South Korean exports dropped for the seventh-straight month, registering a 14.2% decline year-on-year.

The fall was larger than economists expectations of a 13.5% decline, and the seven-month losing streak is its longest in three years.

Reuters said a breakdown of the data showed exports to China tumbled 26.5%, an 11th-straight month of decline. Yonhap reported that exports of semiconductors sank 41% on falling demand and a drop in chip prices.

Imports fell 13.3% in April compared with a year ago, versus a 10.6% decline expected by economists, and was the largest drop since August 2020.

As a result, the country posted a trade deficit of $2.62 billion in April, lower than the $4.63 billion recorded in March.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 30 2023 11:59 PM EDT

Australia expected to hold interest rate steady at 3.6%

Australia's central bank is expected to hold its benchmark policy rate at 3.6% when it announces its decision Tuesday.

A Reuters poll of 34 economists revealed that 26 of them expect the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep rates at current levels, while the remaining eight forecast a 25-basis-point hike.

If the RBA hikes rates to 3.85%, that would be the highest level since April 2012.

Australia's inflation — a key data point for the RBA — eased to 7% in the first quarter, lower than the 7.8% recorded at the end of 2022.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 30 2023 10:07 PM EDT

Japan manufacturing activity sees softer contraction in April

Japan's manufacturing activity remained in contraction territory for the sixth-straight month, although April's figures were the softest contraction reported in that period.

According to au Jibun Bank, the country's manufacturing purchasing managers index improved to 49.5, up from 49.2 in March.

The bank said the improvement came from a slower reduction in new orders inflows. "Firms registered a tenth consecutive reduction, but the rate of contraction was the softest since last November," it observed.

Japanese manufacturers allocated resources to clear backlogs and hired more to prepare for an eventual demand recovery. Employment levels rose for the twenty-fifth month in a row and at the strongest pace since last October, the bank said.

—Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 30 2023 8:47 PM EDT

Australia's factory activity contracts at fastest pace in 35 months: Juno Bank

Australia's factory activity has shrunk at its fastest pace in 35 months, according to private surveys from Juno Bank.

The manufacturing purchasing managers index for April stood at 48, down from March's figure of 49.1, marking a second straight month-on-month deterioration.

A reading above 50 signals expansion, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

In its release, the bank said that this was due to weak demand for Australian goods, observing that new orders declined for the fifth month running and at the fastest rate since August 2021.

It also noted that survey respondents commented on broad-based economic weakness, driven in part by high interest rates.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 30 2023 8:23 PM EDT

China factory activity unexpectedly shrinks in April

China's factory activity contracted in April, in contrast to economists expectations for growth.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed the country's manufacturing purchasing manager's index fell to 49.2 from 51.9 in March, below the 51.4 expected by economists.

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

This also marks the first contraction since December, when the official manufacturing PMI was at 47.

— Lim Hui Jie

Sun, Apr 30 2023 7:42 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: Here's what history indicates is in store for U.S. and global stocks in May

The S&P 500 and the MSCI World Index posted gains in April fitting their historical pattern.

So where does the market go from here?

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about how stocks tend to perform in May, according to history.

— Ganesh Rao

Fri, Apr 28 2023 3:12 PM EDT

Friday PCE data gives Fed a reason to hike interest rates again, investment advisor says

Friday's personal consumption expenditures price index data could give the Federal Reserve a reason to once again raise interest rates at its meeting next week, said Ryan Belanger, founder and managing principal of Claro Advisors.

The data, which was in line with economist expectations when looking at month-over-month change in so-called "core" PCE, is a key gauge of inflation for the central bank. And it comes ahead of the Fed policy meeting scheduled for next week.

The Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter of a percentage point, at its most recent meeting. Belanger said to expect that again to the chagrin of some market participants.

"Friday's inflation report gives the Federal Reserve an excuse to hike interest rates by 25 basis points at the May meeting, even though there is a growing chorus among investors for the Fed to pause its rate hikes given worries about the economy," he said.

— Alex Harring

Fri, Apr 28 2023 8:38 AM EDT

Core PCE price index rose in line with expectations

The core personal consumption expenditures price index, a key measure of inflation for the Federal Reserve, rose as much as economists expected last month.

The core index rose 0.3% in March, which is what economists polled by Dow Jones anticipated.

— Jeff Cox

Fri, Apr 28 2023 3:25 PM EDT

Consumer-focused stocks among this week's biggest gainers

With 50% of S&P 500 companies having now posted their quarterly results, certain stocks — in particular, consumer names — outperformed the market this week.

Those gains came as earnings ramped up, with several Big Tech names and industrial giants posting their latest figures.

Investors were also looking ahead to next week's Federal Reserve announcement. As of Friday afternoon, there was an 86% probability of the central bank raising rates by 25 basis points, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read about this week's top outperformers, and where analysts see them going, here.

— Hakyung Kim

Fri, Apr 28 2023 11:01 AM EDT

First Republic most likely headed for receivership, sources say

First Republic is most likely headed for receivership, sources told CNBC's David Faber.

The FDIC is talking to other financial firms about potential offers for First Republic in the event that the regulator seizes the regional bank, the sources said. However, there is still hope for a rescue deal that does not involve receivership.

The stock, which was mostly flat in early trading, is now down more than 20%. It has lost more than 95% since 2023 began.

See Chart...
First Republic's stock fell sharply on Friday morning.

— Jesse Pound

Fri, Apr 28 2023 1:27 PM EDT

Energy and consumer staples stocks lead S&P 500 up this month

Energy and consumer staples stocks have aided the S&P 500's advance this month.

With just Friday's session left in the April trading month, consumer staples and energy sectors are both slated to post monthly gains of 3.4%. Those jumps make them the top performing of the broad index's 11 sectors this month.

Consumer staples has been led by up Molson Coors and Mondelez, which have gained more than 15% and 10%, respectively, since the month began. Hess and EQT have led the ascent for energy, with each advancing more than 9% on the month.

By comparison, the S&P 500 is poised to finish April 1.3% higher. Consumer discretionary and industrial stocks have weighed on the index as both sectors are on track to end the month more than 1% in the red.

— Alex Harring

View the full site