Asia-Pacific markets, trade data, Bank of Japan

Bank of Japan emphasizes need to keep current monetary policy

The Bank of Japan emphasized the need to maintain its current monetary policy, including leaving the yield curve control unchanged, according to the Summary of Opinions from its last meeting published Thursday.

“The Bank needs to continue with the current yield curve control, considering the outlook that it will take time to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent in a sustainable and stable manner,” the release said, reiterating its unchanged stance on its inflation target .

The central bank continued its operations to purchase Japanese government bonds in response to upward pressure on yields. The Nikkei reported earlier this week that the BOJ disclosed technically holding more than 100% of several key 10-year JGBs – or running higher than the issuance amounts.

“There has been upward pressure on long-term interest rates, and the distortions on the yield curve have not dissipated,” the BOJ said in its Summary of Opinions, noting additional purchases of JGBs as one of many options of action that it can take to keep its yield curve controlled within its tolerance range.

– Jihye Lee

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

Singapore’s year-on-year manufacturing output for December is expected to decline 6.9%, according to analysts polled by Reuters, which would register more than twice the drop recorded in November.

The projected forecast would also extend Singapore’s manufacturing output decline since October, and November’s figure of a 3.2% fall.

On a monthly basis, Singapore’s factory output is expected to record a 1.1% drop.

—Lee Ying Shan

South Korea’s economy marks first contraction since 2020

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

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

Government spending sharply increased 3.2% compared to third quarter’s 0.1% rise.

On a year-on-year basis, South Korea’s final quarter GDP gained 1.4% compared to a year earlier, slightly missing Reuters’ expectations of a 1.5% growth.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Want to cash in on China’s reopening? Bank of America and UBS have some less obvious stock picks

Stocks in certain key sectors that are directly related to China’s reopening, such as domestic consumption and travel, have done 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 raft of less obvious beneficiaries outside of China.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: Lithium’s got a strong year ahead of it — and China’s reopening will boost this stock, analyst says

Things are looking up for the electric vehicle industry, thanks to China’s reopening — particularly in the second half of the year, one analyst says.

Corinne Blanchard, vice president of lithium and clean tech equity research at Deutsche Bank, names one top stock pick.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Stocks finish mixed

Stocks were mixed Wednesday.

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

— Samantha Subin

Microsoft shares shed after-hours gains, turn negative

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

Shares were initially higher after the company posted quarterly earnings per share that beat the Street’s expectations. However, investors’ sentiment soured after Microsoft issued disappointing guidance for revenue in the current quarter on its earnings conference call.

The company forecast $50.5 billion to $51.5 billion in fiscal third quarter revenue, while analysts surveyed by Refinitiv anticipated $52.43 billion.

Read more about Microsoft’s results here.

Darla Mercado, Jordan Novet

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