Asia-Pacific Markets, Trade Data, Bank of Japan

Hyundai posts bumper fourth-quarter earnings

Hyundai Motor reported net profit of 1.71 trillion won ($1.4 billion) for the fourth quarter ending in December, marking a 143.8 percent year-on-year increase.

Despite the strong results, the reading was still below Refinitiv’s forecast of 2.5 trillion won in net profit.

The figure also marks a growth of 21.1% compared to the previous quarter ending in September.

Sales of the automaker’s sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were a big contributor to the results, with Hyundai expecting “strong sales of premium models to continue.”

Shares of the company last traded 6.04% on Thursday.

—Lee Ying Shan

Singapore factory output contracts 3.1%, extending decline since October

Singapore’s annualized manufacturing output for December fell 3.1%, beating Reuters expectations of a 6.9% decline.

The reading marks the third straight decline since October and comes after the November figure of a 3.2% drop.

On a monthly basis, Singapore’s manufacturing output data rose 3.2%, compared to a 1.2% decline the previous month.

—Lee Ying Shan

Hang Seng Index heavyweights catch up after vacation

Hong Kong Benchmark Heavy Stocks Hang Seng Index caught up after returning from the Lunar New Year holiday, with the index jumping 1.8%.

Technology company stocks Xiaomi and Lenovo climbed 9.27% ​​and 4.51% respectively.

Shares of real estate companies saw a similar rise. Longfor Group increased by 6%, while Logan Group jumped 7.35%. country garden roses 3.13%.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed auto companies also surged, with BYD adding 5.83% and Geely up 4.32%.

— Lee Ying Shan

Macquarie estimates Hyundai will post record operating profit of 3.2 trillion won

Hyundai is expected to post a record operating profit of 3.2 trillion won ($2.597 billion) according to earnings forecasts from Macquarie mobility research chief James Hong.

“We’re slightly above the market consensus,” said Hong, who attributed the projection to the company’s Brazilian manufacturing arm driving sales volume growth, as well as favorable currency headwinds. weak Korean won against the greenback.

According to Refinitiv estimates, Hyundai is expected to post fourth-quarter net profit of 2.311 billion won, marking an 81% increase from the company’s third-quarter net profit of 1.272 billion won.

Hyundai’s earnings call is scheduled for 1 p.m. local time.

Shares of the company last traded up 1.93%.

—Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Wall Street majors share when global stock markets could bottom and by how much

As equities continue to rally, several major financial institutions are now forecasting a significant pullback in global equity markets.

The S&P 500 Index has risen more than 10% since its low in October last year. In Europe, the STOXX 600 increased by more than 15% over the same period.

But some investment banks say those gains are now in jeopardy as they fear the lagged effects of monetary tightening will weigh on earnings and squeeze profit margins this year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more about when the market is likely to bottom and by how much here.

—Ganesh Rao

Philippines economy sees strong growth of 7.2% in fourth quarter

The Philippine economy recorded robust growth of 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022, beating expectations, according to data from the Statistics Authority.

A Reuters poll predicted gross domestic product growth of 6.5% in the last three months of 2022, compared to the previous year.

For the full year, the economy grew by 7.6% in 2022 thanks to strong growth in sectors such as wholesale and retail trade; automobile and motorcycle repair, up 8.7%. Manufacturing reached 5% and construction 12.7%.

“It just so happens that for this year what really matters is domestic consumption, and that’s what the Philippines has,” said Alicia Garcia-Herrero, chief Asia economist at Natixis, who spoke to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” Thursday, ahead of the release of the GDP data.

“For that reason, I think 2023 will be pretty good for the Philippines compared to the rest of the region. Also the fact…the central bank will have to do a little bit more – maybe up to 6 %, then pause. And interest rates are very important for consumption.”

She added that interest rates will start falling next year, and that is “again positive” for the Philippines.

— Sumathi Bala

Bank of Japan stresses need to maintain current monetary policy

The Bank of Japan has stressed the need to maintain its current monetary policy, including leaving yield curve control unchanged, according to the summary of advice from its latest meeting released on Thursday.

“The Bank should continue with the current control of the yield curve, given the outlook that it will take time to achieve the price stability target of 2% in a sustainable and stable manner,” the statement said, reiterating its position. unchanged on its inflation target. .

The central bank continued to buy Japanese government bonds in response to upward pressure on yields. The Nikkei reported earlier this week that the BOJ revealed it technically held more than 100% of several key 10-year JGBs – or exceeded issue amounts.

“There has been upward pressure on long-term interest rates, and yield curve distortions have not dissipated,” the BOJ said in its opinion summary, noting the additional buying of JGB as one of many options for action she can take. to keep its yield curve under control within its tolerance margin.

– Jihye Lee

Singapore factory output is expected to fall 6.9%, extending the decline since October

Singapore’s year-on-year manufacturing output for December is expected to fall 6.9%, analysts polled by Reuters said, more than double the drop recorded in November.

The projected forecast would also extend Singapore’s decline in manufacturing output since October and the November figure by a 3.2% plunge.

On a monthly basis, manufacturing output in Singapore is expected to register a decline of 1.1%.

—Lee Ying Shan

South Korea’s economy marks its first contraction since 2020

South Korea’s gross domestic product shrank 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter, marking the first contraction in two and a half years.

Private consumption fell 0.4%, exports contracted 5.8% and manufacturing fell 4.1%, according to the Bank of Korea.

Government spending surged 3.2% from the 0.1% rise in the third quarter.

On an annual basis, South Korea’s last-quarter GDP grew 1.4% year-on-year, slightly beating Reuters expectations of 1.5% growth.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Want to take advantage of China’s reopening? Bank of America and UBS have less obvious stock picks

Stocks in some key sectors directly tied to China’s reopening, such as domestic consumption and travel, have performed well in recent months.

Investors looking for entry into these stocks may find them unpalatable at current valuations. But there could be another way to play the reopening, with Bank of America and UBS having identified a series of less obvious beneficiaries outside of China.

Pro subscribers can learn more here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: Lithium has a solid year ahead — and China’s reopening will boost this stock, analyst says

Things are looking up for the electric vehicle industry, thanks to the reopening of China – especially in the second half, according to an analyst.

Corinne Blanchard, vice president of lithium and cleantech equity research at Deutsche Bank, names a top pick of stocks.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

—Weizhen Tan

Inventories end mixed

Shares were mixed on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.88 points, or 0.03%, to end at 33,743.84. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.18% to close at 11,313.36, and the S&P 500 fell 0.02% to 4,016.22.

— Samantha Subin

Microsoft shares lose after-hours gains and turn negative

Microsoft shares fell about 1% in after-hours trading, reversing earlier gains.

Shares were initially higher after the company posted quarterly earnings per share that beat Street expectations. However, investor sentiment soured after Microsoft issued a disappointing current-quarter revenue forecast on its earnings conference call.

The company forecast revenue of $50.5 billion to $51.5 billion in the fiscal third quarter, while analysts polled by Refinitiv expected $52.43 billion.

Learn more about Microsoft’s results here.

Darla Mercado, Jordan Novet

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