Asian markets are falling ahead of the Fed’s policy decision, tracking losses on Wall Street

one hour ago

Inflation in Thailand fell for the fourth consecutive month to 2.67%

Thailand’s core inflation rate fell for the fourth consecutive month to 2.67% in April, while core inflation – which excludes food and energy costs – fell to 1.66%.

This is largely in line with economists’ forecasts of 2.7% and 1.7%, respectively.

Thailand’s central bank has an agreement with the country’s government to keep inflation within a target range of 1% to 3%.

The country achieved this target in March, lowering it from last year’s increase when it reached 7.86% last August.

– Lim Hwi Ji

2 hours ago

Australian retail sales rose in March

Government data on Wednesday showed that primary retail sales in Australia rose 0.4% month-on-month in March, higher than February’s rise of 0.2%.

Selective retailing appeared to be under more pressure with household goods down 0.4%, as well as clothing, shoes and personal accessories down 1%. Department store retail business also contracted by 0.2% from the previous month.

The headline retail sales growth was mostly driven by high food price inflation in the Australian economy.

– Jihe Lee

4 hours ago

ING expects exports to weaken in the Hong Kong market, and growth forecasts are revised downward

ING’s chief economist for Greater China, Iris Pang, lowered its forecast for growth in Hong Kong, a day after the city reported that gross domestic product grew 2.7% in the first quarter.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia,” Pang said she sees a recession in the US “probably around the fourth quarter” and expects the Fed to cut interest rates by 100 basis points by the end of 2023.

As a result, the outlook for Hong Kong and mainland China’s exports is “not so bright” in the second half of the year.

Pang lowered its forecast for Hong Kong in the second half, raising its full-year GDP growth forecast to 2.9%.

– Lim Hwi Ji

4 hours ago

Hong Kong stocks have fallen for four consecutive days

5 hours ago

Australia’s rate hikes due to ‘uncomfortably persistent’ service inflation: Lowe’s

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said that “uncomfortably persistent” service inflation was one of the main reasons the RBA raised interest rates by 25 basis points at its meeting on Tuesday, to 3.85%.

In a speech on Tuesday night, Lowe made clear that the peak of inflation in Australia had passed, but added that it would take some time before inflation returned to the RBA’s target range of 2-3%.

He acknowledged that inflation in goods is slowing, but inflation in services and energy is likely to remain high, adding that he also sees “alarmingly persistent” service inflation abroad.

“It is possible that conditions will be different here in Australia, but experience abroad suggests upside risks, especially given the high degree of commonality between countries in recent inflation dynamics,” Lowe said.

– Lim Hwi Ji

5 hours ago

BoK governor says it’s “too early” to talk about rate cuts

Bank of Korea Governor Ri Chang-yong said it’s too early to start talking about interest rate cuts.

South Korea’s central bank was one of the first in Asia to pause the tightening cycle, sparking market speculation that it may soon start cutting interest rates. But Ri told CNBC’s Sherry Kang at the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in Incheon that those predictions were “premature.”

“We made it clear, given our core inflation is still well above our target, and we have good news, that our inflation is below 4% in April, so it’s coming down,” Ri said on Wednesday.

“But still, I think since it’s above target, we’ll have to wait and see, it would be too early to talk about [a] pivot at this moment.”

– Jihe Lee

6 hours ago

New Zealand’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4% in the first quarter

New Zealand’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4% for the first quarter, unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2022. This is slightly lower than economists’ forecasts of 3.5%.

The unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points from 3.2% a year earlier.

The country’s labor force participation rate was 72%, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter and one percentage point higher than the 71% recorded in the first quarter of 2022.

– Lim Hwi Ji

6 hours ago

CNBC Pro: This global commercial real estate stock is set to rise 60%, Jefferies says

Jefferies expects global commercial real estate stocks to rise more than 60% over the next 12 months.

The investment bank’s predictions come at a time when the global commercial real estate market has witnessed a sharp decline in prices over the past year.

However, the real estate company is expected to survive the economic downturn as it doubled the rent it charged tenants and vacant office space in its target area fell last year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

6 hours ago

CNBC Pro: As Lithium Prices Rebound, Analysts Love This Stock – Giving Up 155%

Prices of lithium, a key material used in electric vehicle batteries, rebounded for the first time in months.

Analysts were generally bullish on the sector over the long term.

For investors looking to play in the electric vehicle-related sector, CNBC examined lithium and battery stocks with Buy ratings from over 70% of the analysts covering them, and an average price target of at least 15% upward.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Wizen tan

12 hours ago

“March returns in May,” says Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs said investors were not fully moved after the banking crisis in March as bank stocks fell on Tuesday. The company’s analysts noted that in the wake of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March, market fears were quickly alleviated by an infusion of deposits into First Republic Bank.

Since bottoming out at 3,808 on March 13, the S&P 5000 is up nearly 10%. [as of] Several Goldman analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday, “Monday evening on the back of quiet bank jitters, as well as a strong earnings season (so far) and a growing consensus that the Fed will soon halt its year-round cycle of rate hikes.”

Today, however, it appears that we are seeing some of the concerns of March return after JPM announced its acquisition of FRC on Monday. Shares of regional banks fell 4% to 13%. [Managing director Richard] Ramsden sees the acquisition of JPM as cumulative and notes that the deal highlights that it will allow G-SIBs to bid on FDIC transactions even if they are above the filing cap.

– Hakyung Kim

15 hours ago

Rosengren, a former Fed official, is advocating not to raise interest rates

Eric Rosengren thinks his former Fed colleagues will make a mistake if they raise interest rates again on Wednesday.

The former Boston Fed president, who retired from the board in September 2021, told CNBC on Tuesday that turmoil in the banking industry and an economic slowdown should prompt policymakers to end the interest rate hike campaign that began in March 2022.

“My own view is that it is very likely that the economy will slow in the second half of the year and that it is not necessary at this point to raise interest rates until we get a better view of what the second half of the year looks like,” Rosengren said on “The Squawk Fund.”

Futures market traders are pricing in a 96% chance that the Federal Open Market Committee will agree to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point when the two-day meeting ends, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tracker.

– Jeff Cox

11 hours ago

WTI is holding at its lowest level since March

WTI closed down 5.29% at $71.66, marking its lowest settlement since March 24, when it settled at $69.26. WTI is down 10.7% in 2023.

Brent crude and natural gas also settled lower, falling 5.03% and 4.49%, respectively. Brent crude is down 12.33 percent year-to-date, closing at $75.32 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, natural gas is down more than 50% in 2023.

– Hakyung Kim

15 hours ago

Oil prices drop on the back of Chinese factory data and the economic outlook

Oil prices fell sharply on Tuesday after an unexpected contraction in Chinese factory activity, it was reported on Sunday, and ahead of more expected rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week.

Brent crude futures were down 4.3% at $75.87 at 10:53 AM ET, while WTI futures were down 4.4% at $72.34 – their lowest since late March.

The drop came despite news that OPEC oil production fell in April, according to a Reuters survey.

see chart…

Brent Crude on Ice

16 hours ago

Employment opportunities fell more than expected in March

Job openings hit a nearly two-year low in March, in a sign of a downturn in the labor market, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

Openings totaled 9.59 million, the lowest since April 2021 and below FactSet’s estimate of 9.64 million, according to the Employment Opportunity and Employment Turnover Survey.

The Federal Reserve is watching the JOLTS report closely for signs of a recession in employment. Declining employment is positive for inflation because it helps reduce pressure on wage increases.

The full story can be found here.

– Jeff Cox

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