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Asian Shares Slip, Bond Yields Rise As Investors Await ECB

Clayton Lee

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(C) Reuters. A man wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks past an electronic board displaying Shanghai Composite index, Nikkei index and Dow Jones Industrial Average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, March 7, 2022. REUTER

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian stocks fell, U.S. bond yields rose and a soaring dollar pushed to a two-decade high against the yen on Thursday as investors worried about the outlook for more rate rises ahead of a key meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day.

But before the meeting, at which the ECB is set to bring to an end its Asset Purchase Programme and signal rate hikes to combat rising inflation, moves in the Asian session were relatively muted as many investors kept to the sidelines.

“It’s classic pre-central-bank-meeting price action. To speculate now on anything other than an hourly timeframe, or an intraday timeframe, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at the moment,” said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index in Sydney.

“It’s the most exciting meeting since (Christine Lagarde) has been at the helm, since Draghi was here – ‘whatever it takes’.”

Adding to concern over European inflation, data showed the euro zone economy grew much faster in the first quarter than the previous three months, despite the war in Ukraine.

As investors guess at the size and pace of ECB tightening, they are also awaiting U.S. consumer price data on Friday that the White House has said it expects to be “elevated”. Economists expect annual inflation to be 8.3%, according to a Reuters poll.

While Asian share markets have risen around 8% from nearly two-year lows touched last month, investors remain worried that central bank policy tightening to control inflation could spark an economic slowdown.

In morning trade, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.39%, tracking losses in U.S. stocks in the previous session.

Australian shares were down 1.19% and Seoul’s KOSPI slipped 0.64%, though Hong Kong’s Hang Seng eked out a gain of less than 0.2% and Chinese A-shares were flat.

In Japan, the Nikkei stock index was also unchanged.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.81%, the S&P 500 lost 1.08% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.73%.

“Over the last two weeks, trading has been in a very narrow range and also based on very low volumes,” analysts at ING said in a note.

“Previous instances of this range trading on low volumes have usually preceded a sharp down-shift,” they cautioned, adding that the ECB meeting and Friday’s U.S. price data were likely “catalysts for a more bearish outlook.”

The wait for U.S. price data also weighed on U.S. Treasuries, which saw yields rise following a weak auction of 10-year notes on Wednesday.

The U.S. 10-year yield edged up on Thursday to 3.0548% from a U.S. close of 3.029% on Wednesday and the two-year yield, climbed to 2.8027% compared with a U.S. close of 2.774%.

Rising yields supported the dollar, particularly against the yen, which dropped to a 20-year low of 134.56. The Japanese currency has been weighed down by a widening policy divergence, with the Bank of Japan remaining one of the few global central banks to maintain a dovish stance. [FRX/]

The global dollar index was slightly higher at 102.6, and the euro was flat ahead of the ECB meeting at $1.0712.

Crude oil prices extended gains, rising to their highest levels in three months on hopes for strong U.S. demand and a recovery in China as COVID-19 curbs are eased.

Global benchmark Brent crude was last at $123.83 per barrel, up 0.2% on the day. U.S. crude added 0.17% to $122.32.

Gold, sensitive to rate hikes but seen as an inflation edge, was weaker. Spot gold lost 0.1% to %1,851.35 per ounce. [GOL/]

Asian shares slip, bond yields rise as investors await ECB

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Philippines Q4 GDP Grows 7.2%, Faster Than Forecast

Clayton Lee

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Philippines Q4 GDP grows 7.2%, faster than forecast By Reuters

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Economy 23 minutes ago (Jan 25, 2023 09:16PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Buildings are seen as vehicles pass through the financial district of Makati city, metro Manila, Philippines November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine economy grew at an annual rate of 7.2% in the fourth quarter, the statistics agency said on Thursday, beating expectations.

Economists in a Reuters poll had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to rise 6.5% in the last three months of 2022 from a year earlier. Third quarter growth was 7.6%.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP came in at 2.4% in October-December, compared with expectations for a 1.5% rise and the previous quarter’s 2.9% growth.

For the full-year of 2022, growth was 7.6%, above the government’s target of 6.5 to 7.5%, and stronger than the previous year’s 5.7% expansion.

Philippines Q4 GDP grows 7.2%, faster than forecast

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Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

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South Korea Vows Support for Exporters As Economy Shrinks

Clayton Lee

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South Korean economy shrinks in Q4 for first time in 2-1/2 years By Reuters

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Economic Indicators 5 minutes ago (Jan 25, 2023 06:33PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The skyline of central Seoul is seen during a foggy day in Seoul March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s economy contracted in the final quarter of 2022 for the first time in 2-1/2 years, as a post-pandemic spending spree faded and global trade tumbled, central bank estimates showed on Thursday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.4% in the October-December period from the previous quarter, the Bank of Korea estimated, after a 0.3% gain in the July-September quarter. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected a 0.3% fall.

Leading the first GDP decline since the second quarter of 2020 were losses of 5.8% in exports and 0.4% in private consumption, whereas government spending posted a sharp 3.2% increase, the central bank estimates showed.

Fourth-quarter 2022 GDP was 1.4% higher than a year earlier, compared with a 3.1% annual gain seen in the third quarter and the 1.5% forecast in the poll.

The central bank estimated that in 2022 the full-year value of the economy, Asia’s fourth-largest, had been 2.6% larger than in 2021, when it showed growth of 4.1%. The average growth in full-year GDP for 2017 to 2021 was 2.3% a year.

The central bank’s latest growth forecast for 2023 full-year GDP is 1.7%, but its warning this month that it might downgrade that outlook prompted investors to bet that its Jan. 13 interest rate rise had marked the end of a tightening cycle that began in August 2021.

South Koreans spent heavily on consumption after pandemic controls were removed by early 2022, but spending behaviour has since returned to more normal levels. This has occurred just as demand for South Korean exports has declined with the weakening of foreign economies subject to interest rate rises aimed at containing inflation.

South Korean economy shrinks in Q4 for first time in 2-1/2 years

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Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

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Musk Says China Rivals ‘work Hardest, Smartest’

Clayton Lee

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Musk says China rivals ‘work hardest, smartest’ By Reuters

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Stock Markets 11 minutes ago (Jan 25, 2023 09:46PM ET)

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(C) Reuters. A Tesla supercharging station is seen in the early morning sun, in Kettleman City, California, U.S., January 25, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake
2/2

(Reuters) – Detroit? Nope. Germany? Nein. Elon Musk sees the toughest competition for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in China, home of the company he expects “most likely to be second” in electric vehicles.

China is Tesla Inc’s second-largest market – accounted for about two-thirds of all electric vehicles sales globally in 2022 – and the home of Tesla’s biggest plant.

It’s also a market that has embraced EVs and is replete with rivals competing on style and price, including Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV), Nio (NYSE:NIO) and BYD Co (OTC:BYDDF) Ltd.

Releasing financial results on Wednesday, Tesla said they showed recent deep price cuts were stimulating demand, and that the company is cutting costs with a view to growing through what Musk expects will be a recession this year.

Asked about Tesla’s competition, Musk responded that he respected car companies in China, calling it the most competitive market in the world. Musk did not identify any Chinese automakers by name.

“They work the hardest and they work the smartest,” he said. “And so we guess, there is probably some company out of China as the most likely to be second to Tesla.”

Tesla recently promoted China chief Tom Zhu to run U.S. factories and sales in North America and Europe, Reuters has reported.

“Our team is winning in China. And think we actually are able to attract the best talent in China. So hopefully that continues.”

Tesla has cut prices in response to growing competition and slowing demand in China, followed by cuts in the United States and other markets.

Musk has praised Chinese workers and competitors before.

In 2021, he called Chinese automakers the “most competitive in the world,” saying some of them are very good at software. He also said Chinese workers had been “burning the 3 a.m. oil” to keep Tesla’s factories running during COVID lockdowns last year.

Musk says China rivals ‘work hardest, smartest’

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(C) 2007-2023 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

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