China markets inch higher to clock nine straight days of gains as investors digest property price data

Shreyashi Sanyal

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

Hong Kong, a British colony from the 1840s to 1997, grew into an international finance center just off the coast of mainland China.

Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher Friday, with China stocks rising for the ninth straight session as investors digested property prices data.

The CSI 300 index ended 0.09% higher at 3,489.74, extending its winning streak for nine days in a row. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 0.13% lower in volatile trading.

Data showed sales prices of newly built commercial housing in first-tier cities fell 0.3% month-over-month in January, with declines narrowing by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

At the end of last year, the country's troubled property market clocked its worst declines in new home prices in nearly nine years.

South Korea's Kospi ended 0.13% higher at 2,667.70, while the smaller-cap Kosdaq closed 0.18% lower at 868.57.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.43% higher at 7,643.60.

Japan stocks were closed for trading on Friday for the Emperor's Birthday holiday. Japan markets led gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 closing at a new all-time high of 39,098.68, surpassing the previous record of 38,915.87 set in 1989.

TICKERCOMPANYNAMEPRICECHANGE%CHANGE
.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI39,103.22+486.12+1.26%
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI18,868.71-326.89-1.70%
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2007,811.80-36.30-0.46%
.SSECShanghaiSHANGHAI3,116.39-42.15-1.33%
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2,721.81-1.65-0.06%
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1009,764.54-6.38-0.07%

Wall Street's main indexes surged on Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting a record high after chip giant Nvidia posted quarterly results that far exceeded estimates, boosting the tech sector.

The benchmark index gained 2.11% to close at 5,087.03, its best day since January 2023. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.96%, recording its best day since February 2023, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.18%, to close above 39,000 for the first time and at a new high of 39,069.11.

— CNBC's Pia Singh and Yun Li contributed to this report.

Fri, Feb 23 2024 2:51 AM EST

Singapore consumer prices in January rose at slowest pace in over 2 years

Buildings in the central business district in Singapore, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Singapore's economy expanded by a slightly more modest pace than initially expected in 2023, as manufacturing activity contracted and services growth slowed. 

Singapore's consumer prices in January rose at its slowest pace in more than two years, helped by falling fuel and housing costs.

Data showed CPI rose 2.9%, its slowest increase since September 2021.

The core CPI, which strips out prices of accommodation and private transport, rose 3.1% year-on-year in January, lower than economists' forecast.

Recreational spending cooled to 3.3% month-over-month, in a sign that consumers tightened their purse strings as higher goods and services taxes kicked in and the Monetary Authority of Singapore kept financial conditions tight.

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Inflation remained high but trailed toward the central bank's estimates of between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2024.

The Straits Times index fell 1.1% in afternoon trading.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Fri, Feb 23 2024 1:31 AM EST

Grab posts first quarterly profit, thanks to growth in mobility and deliveries units

Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab posted a profitable quarter for the first time as its mobility and deliveries segments saw "strong momentum."

Profit in the fourth quarter was $11 million, compared to a $391 million loss in the same period a year ago, the company announced Thursday.

"We exited [2023 with] mobility exceeding pre-Covid levels," said Grab CFO Peter Oey in an exclusive CNBC interview on Friday. "We are seeing a very strong demand in the mobility space."

"If you look at the deliveries business, we have another record 13% year-over-year growth. We have now more users on our platform also at the same time. So we have really strong momentum," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

– Sheila Chiang

Fri, Feb 23 2024 12:46 AM EST

StanChart shares rise after $1 billion share buyback, higher annual profit

See Chart...

Hong Kong-listed shares of Standard Chartered rose 2.8% by afternoon trading after the company announced a $1 billion share repurchase program.

StanChart also reported 2023 pretax profit of $5.09 billion, up about 18% year-on-year.

The bank earns most of its revenue in Asia.

"We have increased full year dividends, up 50%, and have announced a new $1 billion share buyback, bringing our total shareholder distributions to $5.5 billion since January 2022," the company said in a statement.

The bank also reported a $850 million impairment charge due to its stake in Chinese lender Bohai Bank.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Thu, Feb 22 2024 9:21 PM EST

China property price declines narrow month-on-month in January

Declines in China's commercial housing sales prices narrowed on a month-on-month basis, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The official data showed sales prices of newly built commercial houses in first-tier cities fell 0.3% in January from the previous month, with declines narrowing by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

Prices continued to drop from last year, falling 0.5% from a year ago or 0.4 percentage points more than the previous month.

The January data comes after the country's troubled property market recorded its worst declines in new home prices in nearly nine years at the end of last year.

China's CSI 300 added 0.2%, set to rise for the ninth straight session if gains hold till the end of the trading day.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Thu, Feb 22 2024 8:03 PM EST

Korean won falls a day after Bank of Korea decision

The South Korean currency, the won

The Korean won eased against the U.S. dollar on Friday, a day after the Bank of Korea held interest rates.

The won dipped 0.2%. The BOK held interest rates unchanged at 3.5% as widely expected on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs said Thursday that the central bank could be the first to cut rates.

Analysts at Commerzbank said "diverging views within the board on the direction of rates could also add to volatility. Two board members are also due to be replaced. This could change the dynamics on the board, depending on who will be appointed."

Stocks in Korea rose, with the Kospi adding 0.5% after the Nvidia's blockbuster results helped boost semiconductor stocks globally.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Thu, Feb 22 2024 8:01 PM EST

New Zealand retail sales contract for eight straight quarters

Retail sales in New Zealand fell for the eighth quarter in a row, according to official data on Friday.

The total volume of retail sales in the December quarter fell 1.9%, data released by Stats NZ showed. Year-over-year retail sales contracted 4.1% in the December quarter.

"Ongoing falls in retail activity over the last two years were marked by a fall in most industries in the December quarter," Melissa McKenzie, business financial statistics manager of Stats NZ said.

The largest declines in retail activity were driven by motor vehicle and parts retailing (down 2.5%), food and beverage services (down 2.4%) and fuel retailing (down 3.6%).

The only industry that saw an increase in retail activity was pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing, which was up 0.3%. 

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Thu, Feb 22 2024 7:10 PM EST

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs reveals the 'Seven Samurai' — Japan's version of the 'Magnificent Seven' stocks

Investors have been bullish on Japan stocks since last year, repeatedly driving them to record highs.

The latest rally was on Thursday, when the Nikkei 225 hit a record high that surpassed the previous one reached in 1989.

Goldman Sachs has named "Seven Samurai" stocks in Japan, which it says could be an equivalent of the United States' "Magnificent Seven."

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Thu, Feb 22 2024 7:10 PM EST

CNBC Pro: Want a Nvidia alternative? These 6 chip suppliers look set to gain big from the AI boom

A number of stocks that supply Nvidia look set to gain from the AI boom, as the U.S. chip giant published another bumper quarter of earnings.

The acceleration in the AI trend also means that its suppliers' network stands to benefit directly or indirectly from the growth.

CNBC screened for companies that are Nvidia suppliers and look set to gain from the AI growth story.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Thu, Feb 22 2024 4:12 PM EST

Stocks surge on Thursday

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.

Here's how the major indexes closed:

— Pia Singh

Thu, Feb 22 2024 3:47 PM EST

Oil prices rise as signs point to tightening global crude market

A general view of Isfahan Refinery, one of the largest refineries in Iran and is considered as the first refinery in the country in terms of diversity of petroleum products in Isfahan, Iran on November 08, 2023.

Crude oil futures rose Thursday amid signs of a tightening global market and as the geopolitical outlook in the Middle East remains uncertain.  

The West Texas Intermediate contract for April gained 70 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $78.61 a barrel. The Brent contract for April added 64 cents, or 0.77%, to settle at $83.67 a barrel.

The price premium of the first month futures contracts over the following months has increased in recent weeks, according to UBS strategist Giovanni Staunovo. 

A premium for immediate versus later delivery is typically a sign that the oil market is tightening, Staunovo wrote in a note to clients Thursday. 

The geopolitical outlook in the Middle East remains uncertain as the U.S. works toward a cease-fire in Gaza while tensions escalate on the Israel-Lebanon border and in the Red Sea. 

— Spencer Kimball

Thu, Feb 22 2024 2:49 PM EST

Bitcoin related stocks rise with cryptocurrencies, helped by Nvidia rally and Fed minutes

Stocks tied to the price of bitcoin rose on Thursday, striving to recover losses from the previous session when bitcoin and crypto equities fell in anticipation of the minutes of the latest Fed meeting.

Coinbase and Microstrategy were higher by 5% each in late afternoon trading, while the biggest mining stocks, Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms, advanced 8% and 4%, respectively.

Bitcoin was higher by more than 1%. Other cryptocurrencies saw even bigger increases, helped by a boost in the stock market following Nvidia's strong earnings, as well as an optimistic tone in the minutes of the Fed's January meeting.

"The market was let down by the January decision … then had to significantly reprice their expectation for rate cuts and 2024 – all of that was priced in heading into the Fed minutes," said Joel Kruger, market strategist at LMAX Group, told CNBC. "The balance of risk was tilted towards the reaction that we're seeing today, which is that there wasn't going to be anything worse that was going to come out for the market yesterday."

— Tanaya Macheel

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