Asia markets mixed as U.S. inflation cools more than expected

Lim Hui Jie

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

Buildings in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday, May 22, 2023.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Friday after inflation in the U.S. came in lower than expected, raising hopes markets could see a "soft landing" in the inflation fight.

July consumer prices gained 3.2% on an annual basis, less than the 3.3% consensus from economists polled by Dow Jones. On a month-to-month basis, inflation increased 0.2%, in-line with estimates.

The report also said real average weekly earnings were unchanged last month in another positive sign.

However, the core inflation rate — which strips out prices of food of energy — was at 4.7%, the lowest since October 2021 and lower than the 4.8% expected.

In Asia, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was 0.24% lower and ended the day at 7,340.1. South Korea's Kospi was down 0.4% to close at 2,591.3 and the Kosdaq gained 0.1% to finish at 912.2.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.79% in its final hour, while stocks on mainland China fell. The CSI300 index was trading 2.3% down, closing at 3,884.25. Japan's markets are closed for a public holiday.

.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI40,109.23+198.41+0.50%
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI16,595.97+6.53+0.04%
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2007,735.80-9.80-0.13%
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2,674.27+31.91+1.21%
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1009,237.83+59.25+0.65%

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes gained on the softer inflation print, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.15%. The S&P 500 inched up 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.12%.

— CNBC's Samantha Subin and Alex Harring contributed to this report

Fri, Aug 11 2023 1:57 AM EDT

India's KRBL says 'no overall supply constraints' in the global rice market

There should be no "overall supply constraints," if global rice demand continues to be strong, according to India's largest exporter of basmati rice KRBL

However, concerns still loom over the short term, its CFO, Ashish Jain, noted.

Global rice production for 2023/2024 is projected to come in at 520.8 million tons, based on forecasts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"If we believe the forecast, there should be no overall supply constraints ... However, in short term, we are seeing concerns probably because of El Nino in some East Asian markets," he told CNBC's "Street Signs."

His comments come on the back of India's export ban of non-basmati white rice on Jul. 20, which played a part in global rice prices shooting to an almost 12-year high.

KRBL on Thursday reported an 18.9% growth in its first-quarter profits.

Rough rice last traded at $16.05 per hundredweight (cwt).

—Lee Ying Shan

Fri, Aug 11 2023 12:57 AM EDT

Singapore stocks fall after GDP forecast narrowed

Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 1.22% on Friday after the country's trade and industry ministry trimmed its gross domestic product outlook for 2023.

The full year forecast was narrowed from the range of 0.5% to 2.5% to 0.5% to 1.5%. The STI losses were mainly due to financial and technology stocks, with DBS Group Holdings the largest loser.

The Singapore dollar was little changed strengthening 0.01% to trade at 1.3491 against the greenback.

— Lim Hui Jie

Fri, Aug 11 2023 12:19 AM EDT

Country Garden shares hit record low after it issues profit warning

Shares of Chinese real estate company Country Garden Holdings slid to an all time low after the company issued a profit warning late Thursday.

In a filing, the company said that it is expected to record a net loss of about 45 billion ($6.26 billion) to 55 billion yuan for the six months ending June, compared with the 1.91 billion yuan profit for the same period last year.

Country Garden noted this was mainly due to the fall in gross profit margin of its real estate business and the increase in impairment of property projects as a result of the decline in sales in the property sector.

The company saw a sell off this week after it reportedly was not able to make $22 million of U.S. dollar bond coupon payments on time over the weekend.

See Chart...

— Lim Hui Jie

Thu, Aug 10 2023 10:17 PM EDT

Alibaba shares surge over 3% after earnings climb 51% in second quarter

Hong Kong listed shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba jumped over 3% after the company posted a 51% rise in attributable profit and a 14% increase in revenue year on year for the three months ended June.

That's the biggest annual increase in sales since the September 2021 quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

Hangzhou-headquartered Alibaba has been undergoing major changes in recent months, including splitting the company into six business groups and organizational reshuffles.

Current CEO and Chairman Daniel Zhang will be stepping down in September, but remains head of Alibaba's cloud computing business, as it pushes toward a public listing. Alibaba veteran Eddie Wu will succeed him as CEO, and Joe Tsai will take over as chairman, the company said in June.

"Alibaba delivered a solid quarter as we continue to execute our reorganization, which is beginning to unleash new energy across our businesses," Zhang said in a release Thursday.

— Arjun Kharpal, Lim Hui Jie

Thu, Aug 10 2023 9:14 PM EDT

New Zealand factory activity falls at fastest pace since August 2021

New Zealand's factory activity has recorded its fastest pace of contraction for the year in July, as the country's manufacturing purchasing managers index came in at 46.3 in July.

This was lower than the 47.5 recorded in June, and also marked the fifth straight month that the sector is in contraction territory.

Government data also indicated that this was the lowest level of activity since August 2021 when the country was last in lockdown, and well below the long-term average activity rate of 52.9.

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

— Lim Hui Jie

Thu, Aug 10 2023 8:19 PM EDT

Singapore narrows growth forecast for 2023 as economy expands 0.5% in second quarter

Singapore's trade and industry ministry narrowed the growth forecast from 0.5% to 1.5% for 2023, down from its previous forecast of 0.5% to 2.5%.

The city-state posted a 0.5% year-on-year growth in the second quarter, extending the 0.4% growth in the previous quarter. The figure was revised down from a 0.7% advance estimate released in July.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy expanded marginally by 0.1%, a reversal from the 0.4% contraction in the first quarter of 2023.

— Lim Hui Jie

Thu, Aug 10 2023 8:37 AM EDT

CPI rises 3.2% annually in July, slightly less than expected

The consumer price index rose 3.2% last month on a year-over-year basis. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a 3.3% increase from the year-earlier period. Month over month, the inflation gauge advanced 0.2%, matching expectations.

— Fred Imbert

Thu, Aug 10 2023 8:24 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: 'Potential minefield': Value investor Guy Spier talks U.S. bank risks, reveals his top stock to own

Renowned value investor Guy Spier has said U.S. regional banks are a "potential minefield" in the current market environment.

Spier, who manages the $350 million Aquamarine Fund, also revealed why he prefers investing in one large U.S. bank over smaller banks.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Thu, Aug 10 2023 8:24 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: Here are 7 beaten-up global stocks that analysts expect will double

While stock markets worldwide have rallied this year on fading fears of a global recession, a number of stocks have been left behind.

For some investors, these beaten-down equities will present a tantalizing opportunity.

CNBC Pro screened for stocks in the FTSE Developed Markets index, which is made of about 4,000 large and mid-cap stocks, that have lost value this year, yet analysts expected them to not only rebound but also double in value from current levels.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Thu, Aug 10 2023 7:30 AM EDT

Alibaba pops 4% as investors cheer strongest annual earnings growth since 2021

Alibaba jumped 4.7% in premarket trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and the best annualized revenue growth since 2021.

The company beat analyst expectations on both revenue and net income attributable to ordinary shareholders, per Refinitiv data. Its year-over-year revenue growth of 14% in the quarter was the largest since 2021.

Alibaba shares are up nearly 8% this year.

— Alex Harring, Evelyn Chang and Arjun Kharpal

Thu, Aug 10 2023 12:30 PM EDT

Oil and gas ETF heads for longest weekly winning streak since March 2021

The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF is up more than 2% for the week and on pace for its fifth consecutive weekly gain for the first time since March 12, 2021.

Some of the biggest gainers included Vaalco Energy, Marathon Petroleum and Valero Energy, up 10.4%, 5.5% and 6.4%, respectively, for the week.

— Samantha Subin

Thu, Aug 10 2023 3:22 PM EDT

Communication Services stocks outperform, Real Estate names lag

Communication services stocks are outperforming the S&P 500, gaining 0.8% on Thursday while the broader index was up just about 0.3%.

Capri Holdings, Holdings and QuinStreet led the sector higher with gains of 55.6%, 23.6% and 19.2%, respectively. Ebix, Wolverine World Wide, FutureFuel are the laggards, with each stock lower by at least 20%. 

Of the 11 S&P 500 sectors, real estate was the worst performer with a 0.2% drop.

— Pia Singh

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