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Strong Apple Earnings Boost Asian Tech Stocks

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

A good day to our viewers all over China.

You're watching “Asia Market Daily”, co-produced by CCTV Business Channel and CNBC, first in business worldwide.

I am Saijal Patel.

Here's what's setting direction for Asian markets today.

Overnight - Yahoo earnings were out. The results weren't as "yahoo" as investors hoped for, but net income did manage to beat analysts’ forecasts.

But Apple, was a strong performer, blowing away street expectations with its earnings and forecast.

This Friday, Apple's iPad will debut in another 9 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.

One analyst gives us his take on what the iPad will mean for Apple in the region.

(SOT) Rick Munarriz, Senior Analyst, Motley Fool:

“Yeah I think it's going to be important. I think it's going to depend a lot on, I mean, I know it's a new market and it's gradually hitting all of them now. Back in the united states, third party downloads was Disney ABC viewer and Netflix viewer, so people are actually, the most popular applications, the Apple ones, were basically television or movies to the iPad. I guess it depends a lot on markets like Singapore, Hong Kong. If the media company is there, if the movie rental company's there, are on board to license these apps, and make it possible, the iPad is going to be a phenomenon if they're not, then the iPad is going to do okay, but not as good as it can be if it has the media and the eye candy to go with the release.”

Early gains across Asia for tech related plays like Samsung. Yen strength worries didn't allow others in Japan to hold on to gains. Steel shares like POSCO also getting a boost, in line with their US peers. That's on news that China aims to par back on the steel sector by some 75 percent.

Across Asia, markets traded mostly higher. Japan's the standout - closing down slightly

Japan's government said the economy is on the mend, but faces risks from a slowdown overseas.

South Korea rose half a percent.

China shares fairly flat in trade today.

After a slew of positive earnings guidance, investors cashed in on blue-chips plays.

Down under in Australia - the market closed slightly higher at 0.2 percent.

Resource stocks on the rise, with BHP Billiton announcing strong Q4 production numbers today.

The firm set a new record for its iron ore output, which jumped 16-percent on year... while copper output dropped 5 percent from a year ago.

For the near-term, BHP warned that growth prospects remain uncertain... given changes in global fiscal policies.

The firm was quoted as saying, "Within China, measures introduced to reduce growth to more sustainable levels means volatility in commodity end-demand is likely to persist."

Perennial Investment in Sydney tells CNBC why a slowdown isn't always worrying.

(SOT) Clay Carter, Head of International Equities, Perennial Investment Partners:

“The central bank doesn't produce minutes like they do in the US or in other markets, like in the UK, so it does create an area of uncertainty and will obviously cause some volatility in commodity prices but I think you need to take a medium-term view here. China is slowing, but that's not such a bad thing necessarily, and if you look at sort of what has to be done, relative to construction and infrastructure in China and other countries, there are still opportunities.”

Moving on to the latest with oil giant BP.

3 months on from the worst oil spill in US history. British newspaper "The Times" reports CEO Tony Hayward could be on his way out in the next 2 months.

BP has since denied the report.

To date, BP has incurred clean up costs of almost $4 billion.

BP has promised to raise $10-billion in the year ahead to sort out damage claims, legal and clean-up costs.

As part of this plan, BP has announced it will sell $7 billion worth of assets in North America and Egypt to Houston-based Apache.

The deal will also mean a departure for BP from Canada, where it used to be a key player in the gas business.

Some say the sale could be positive for BP shares going forward.

(SOT) Matt Zeman, Trader, Lasalle Futures Group:

“Absolutely. This is a whole mess of liability that BP has going on here. But I think the asset sale is, you know, going to help calm investors' fears. I mean, the stock has been absolutely pummeled over for weeks now. It could actually be a really good buy here. This is a huge, huge company. My personal feeling is that they will survive one way or the other.”

Over in Asia, BP is now scouting for buyers for its non-core Pakistan and Vietnam assets.

Both countries account for 1 percent of BP's oil and gas output.

Pakistan contributes around 170 million cubic feet of gas while Vietnam produces more than 60-million.

And here's whom analysts say may be interested, mainly state-owned players from Asia.

In China - we have CNOOC and Sinopec. In Thailand - PTTEP - that's a subsidiary of Petroleum Authority of Thailand and in India, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

And before we go, let's take a look at oil prices.

It's held fairly steady in Asian trade at around $78 per barrel, here's where one trader thinks prices are headed

(SOT) Matt Zeman, Trader, Lasalle Futures Group:

“Certainly, some of the numbers we saw here in the States today, housing numbers, are clearly showing that housing has not turned a corner here, and again more and more people are becoming concerned about that double dip recession. So I think crude oil prices are going to have a tough time climbing much higher than 80-a-barrel for the time being.”

Well, that wraps up today's business highlights.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC.

Have a good week!

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