Australia market nears all-time high, China stocks fall amid factory activity slump

Shreyashi Sanyal
Lim Hui Jie

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

Signage of the Hong Kong stock exchange in Hong Kong. HKEX has added a new scheme that will connect capital markets in Hong Kong and mainland.

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on the first trading day of the year, as China stocks fell while Australia shares came within striking distance of their all-time closing high.

Official data showed China's manufacturing PMI contracted further in December 2023, in a sign that more policy support was likely needed to revive its economy.

However, a Caixin survey showed that manufacturing activity in China expanded in December. The manufacturing PMI came in at 50.8 in December, up from 50.7 in November.

China's CSI 300 index closed 1.3% lower at 3,386.35 Tuesday, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 1.62%. Both markets were among the worst performers of 2023.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.49% to close at 7,627.8, just about 1 point away from its all-time high of 7,628.9 hit on Aug. 13, 2021.

See Chart...

Japan was assessing the damage from a powerful earthquake that struck its central region on New Year's Day, and markets in the country are closed until Jan. 4.

Nearly 100,000 people were ordered to evacuate, and at least eight people were reported dead from the quake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 7.6. Japan's Nikkei 225 wrapped up 2023 with gains of over 28%, making it Asia's top-performing market.

South Korea's Kospi rose 0.55% to close at 2669.81, marking its fourth straight day of gains, while the small-cap Kosdaq climbed1.43% to end at near 4-month high of 878.93.

TICKERCOMPANYNAMEPRICECHANGE%CHANGE
.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI39,523.55+80.92+0.21%
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI16,721.69-373.34-2.18%
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2007,788.10-25.50-0.33%
.SSECShanghaiSHANGHAI3,019.47-14.77-0.49%
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2,681.82-25.14-0.93%
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1009,373.19-78.90-0.83%

In the U.S., stock futures were flat in overnight trading Monday as the market prepares to kick off the new year.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures traded marginally above the flatline. Markets were closed Monday for New Year's Day.

— CNBC's Yun Li contributed to this report

Tue, Jan 2 2024 1:43 AM EST

Indonesia reports less-than-expected December inflation at 2.61%

Indonesia's headline inflation rate came in at 2.61% in December, slightly lower the 2.72% expected by economists polled by Reuters.

The inflation rate, was also less than the 2.86% recorded the month before.

Core inflation stood at 1.8%, lower than the 1.85% expected in the Reuters poll and marking the lowest since December 2021, according to data from Reuters.

Indonesia central bank has set an inflation target of 1.5% to 3.5% in 2024, slightly lower than the 2-4% range in 2023.

— Lim Hui Jie

Tue, Jan 2 2024 12:29 AM EST

Indonesia manufacturing PMI expands for 28th straight month, S&P survey shows

Indonesia's manufacturing sector expanded for the 28th straight month in December, ending 2023 on a positive note.

According to a survey by S&P Global, Indonesia's manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 52.2 in December, the fastest rate since September, signaling that factory output continued to rise.

The reading was higher than November's 51.7. A figure above 50 signifies expansion.

December manufacturing PMI benefited from a rise in new orders and higher demand. The survey showed foreign demand also improved slightly for the first time in three months.

The Jakarta SE Composite index edged 0.15% higher by early afternoon trading.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Mon, Jan 1 2024 10:15 PM EST

Dutch government partially revokes ASML's chip equipment export license to China

The Dutch government has partially revoked semiconductor equipment maker ASML's export license to China for two of its systems used in manufacturing advanced chips.

"A license for the shipment of NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems in 2023 has recently been partially revoked by the Dutch government, impacting a small number of customers in China," said ASML in a statement.

NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i are deep ultraviolet lithography machines used in the volume production of the most advanced logic and memory chips.

The company said it does not expect the move to have a material impact on its financial outlook for 2023.

ASML has been restricted by the Dutch government from exporting its extreme ultraviolet lithography machines to China, in a bid to contain China's chip making tech. ASML has not shipped the equipment to China so far.

— Sheila Chiang

Mon, Jan 1 2024 9:04 PM EST

Caixin China December manufacturing PMI comes in at 50.8

A private survey showed manufacturing activity in China expanded in December, at odds with a similar survey conducted by the country's statistics bureau that reported a contraction.

The Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 50.8 in December, according to a release Tuesday, following a 50.7 reading for November. China's official PMI fell to 49.0 in December from 49.4 the previous month, the country's National Bureau of Statistics said in a Sunday release.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in activity, while a reading below that level points to a contraction.

— Clement Tan

Mon, Jan 1 2024 11:59 PM EST

Singapore GDP expands 2.8% in final quarter of 2023

Singapore's economy grew 2.8% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2023, according to advance estimates from the country's Ministry of Trade and Industry.

This was a sharp increase from the 1% expansion recorded in the third quarter, and the fastest rate of growth since the third quarter of 2022.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy expanded by 1.7%, a larger expansion than the 1.3% in the third quarter.

Read the full story here.

— Lim Hui Jie

Mon, Jan 1 2024 7:22 PM EST

China factory activity contraction deepened in December

China's manufacturing activity contracted further in December 2023, in a sign that more policy support was likely needed to revive its economy.

Official data released over the weekend showed China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index was at 49 in December, contracting for the third straight month and more than a Reuters poll forecast of 49.5.

A PMI reading below 50 signifies a contraction.

December's PMI was also the sharpest contraction in manufacturing since June 2023, falling further from a November reading of 49.40.

The Caixin manufacturing survey for December is due later in the day.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Mon, Jan 1 2024 7:11 PM EST

Australia's factory activity contracts at fastest pace since May 2020: Judo Bank

Australia's factory activity in December saw its sharpest contraction since May 2020, according to private surveys from Judo Bank.

The country's manufacturing purchasing managers' index slid to 47.6 in December, down from 47.7 in November and marking its 10th straight month of contraction.

In its release, the bank wrote that this was mainly due to a further deterioration in demand from the country's manufacturing sector, with incoming new orders for Australian manufactured goods falling for a 13th straight month.

This was because of soft economic conditions and pressure from high interest rates, with the bank adding that foreign demand was also subdued.

— Lim Hui Jie

Mon, Jan 1 2024 7:01 PM EST

CNBC Pro: Time to invest in alternative assets? The pros aren't so sure

From family offices to financial advisors and beyond, interest in alternative assets appears to be growing — but the pros appear mixed on whether retail investors should get invested.

For Caesar Sengupta, CEO of financial services firm Arta Finance, there is "incredible value in private markets" and the assets shouldn't be overlooked.

Elsewhere, Saxo's chief investment officer Steen Jakobsen argues that retail investors need to err on the side of caution when dabbling in alternatives.

"I think you need to be more than a private retail investor to go into these — my advice is don't buy it, even if it's priced to perfection," he said, adding what asset classes he is bullish on for 2024.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

Mon, Jan 1 2024 7:01 PM EST

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs says these 3 Big Oil companies ‘screen as attractive’ – giving one 33% upside

Energy stocks may have had a tough year, but Goldman Sachs sees promise in European Big Oil – naming integrated oil stocks to play the theme in the new year.

"We are currently at a turning point as EU Big Oils started to outperform U.S. Big Oils, to potentially close their 40% valuation gap against their U.S. peers," the investment bank's analysts said.

The investment bank's positive outlook on Big Oil comes even oil prices were pushed up as major shipping lines and oil transporters suspended travel through the Red Sea. The 2024 outlook for oil has also been underwhelming, with the International Energy Agency expecting the slowdown to continue next year.

Even so, Goldman noted that "EU Big Oils now screen as attractive thanks to enhanced buyback programs, leading to double digit cash returns to shareholders," naming its top picks to play.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

View the full site