Asian markets fall on further Fed rate hike concerns Singapores

Asian markets fall on further Fed rate hike concerns; Singapore’s exports continue to fall

20 minutes ago

CNBC Pro: This semiconductor stock is booming — and is expected to rise another 20%, says Morgan Stanley

Investor interest in the semiconductor sector has rebounded in recent months, with the iShares Semiconductor ETF up almost 50% from its October lows.

2023 will be a “recovery year” for semiconductors, according to Morgan Stanley, and the bank has raised its price target for a “quality” chip stock.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Zavier Ong

19 minutes ago

CNBC Pro: We’re “a long way” from the top of this rally, says Morgan Stanley’s Slimmon, who names stocks to buy

Have markets reached the ‘peak of pessimism’? Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s Andrew Slimmon says stocks will continue to rise.

“With the [S&P 500] increased by 8% [year-to-date]some of that pessimism has faded, but we’re still a long way from the top of this rally,” he said.

He also named three stocks for purchase.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Wheat Tan

51 minutes ago

Australia’s central bank governor warns of ‘harmful’ and ‘corrosive’ high inflation

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe warned of the risks high inflation will pose to the country if not brought under control in time.

Speaking to the Australian House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, Lowe noted that inflation in the country reached 7.8% in December 2022, the highest rate since 1990.

Describing high inflation as “pernicious” and “corrosive,” Lowe also noted that “failing to contain and reverse this period of high inflation would indeed be dangerous.”

“If we don’t get inflation under control and bring it down in time, the end result will be even higher interest rates and more unemployment going forward,” he added.

— Lim Hui Jie

57 minutes ago

Asian currencies weaken as fears of further Fed rate hikes mount

Asia-Pacific currencies traded at weaker levels on Friday morning amid concerns over further rate hikes in the US.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.16% to 134.16 against the US dollar, while South Korea’s won also weakened 0.16% to 1,291.53 against the greenback.

The Australian dollar fell 0.22% to 0.6862 and the Chinese yuan weakened 0.1% to 6.8760 against the US dollar.

– Jihye Lee

Before an hour

Pentagon’s top China official visits Taiwan: Financial Times

US Department of Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China Michael Chase will visit Taiwan amid rising tensions between the two countries over a suspected Chinese spy balloon, the Financial Times reported, citing well-known people.

He would be the first senior Pentagon official to visit Taiwan after Heino Klinck, the report said, which was there in 2019 and marked the highest-level trip in four decades.

Chase is now in Mongolia for military talks, the report said.

– Jihye Lee

16 hours ago

Standard Chartered is “absolutely not” for sale, says bank CEO

According to the bank’s CEO, Standard Chartered is “absolutely not” for sale.

Bill Winters told CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore on Thursday that a possible sale is not the company’s goal.

“Given the right conditions, someone wants to come and thinks they can accomplish something, I would encourage engagement rather than… press speculation,” he said on CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

The comments come after First Abu Dhabi Bank said on Friday it was not evaluating an offer for Standard Chartered.

The whole story can be read here.

– Hannah Ward-Glenton

6 hours ago

The Fed’s James Bullard sees a possible half-point hike in interest rates

St. Louis Federal Reserve Chairman James Bullard said Thursday that he pushed for a higher rate hike at the last meeting and could see a more aggressive move ahead.

The policymaker said he favors a half a percentage point rate hike from Jan. 31 to Feb. 31. 1 Fed meeting and said he wouldn’t rule out pushing for one at the March meeting.

“I was a proponent of a 50 basis point hike, arguing that we should get as quickly as possible to what the committee saw as sufficiently restrictive in interest rates,” Bullard said during a speech in Tennessee, according to Portal.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester also said Thursday she wants a higher hike than the quarter-point approved by the Federal Open Market Committee. Neither Mester nor Bullard are voting on the FOMC this year.

Bullard added that he sees the larger economic trend towards disinflation despite recent high inflation readings.

“Partly due to the front-loaded Fed policy into 2022, market-based measures of inflation expectations are now relatively low,” Bullard said.

“Sustained policy rate hikes can help curb a disinflationary trend in 2023, even with continued growth and strong labor markets, by keeping inflation expectations low,” he added.

The comments come despite separate data releases this week showing that both consumer and producer prices rose more-than-expected in January. Bullard acknowledged inflation is still too high but said higher interest rates would keep it in check despite continued economic growth and a robust job market.

“These factors could make 2023 a disinflationary year,” Bullard said.

– Jeff Cox

4 hours ago

Dow falls to daily low in the last few minutes of trading, stocks close lower

Shares sold off sharply in the last few minutes of trading on Thursday, sending the Dow to a new daily low. All three indices ended the day lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 431 points, or 1.26%. The S&P 500 fell 1.38% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.78%. Microsoft and Disney were the top contributors to the Dow’s decline, each at more than 2%.

– Carmen Reinicke

11 hours ago

Wholesale prices rise more than expected in January

The Producer Price Index, an inflation indicator that tracks wholesale prices, rose 0.7% in January, beating a Dow Jones consensus forecast of 0.4%.

This is the latest inflation report this week, which is above expectations. On Tuesday, the Labor Department said the consumer price index — a widely used indicator of inflation — rose 0.5% over the past month. This beat a consensus estimate of 0.4%.

– Jeff Cox

11 hours ago

Weekly jobless claims show a surprise drop

Initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 194,000 in the week ended Feb. 11, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast the number of jobless claims at 200,000.

The previous week’s figure was revised from 196,000 to 195,000, according to the Department of Labor.

The labor market has remained resilient despite the series of rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.

— Yun-Li