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Asia Markets Mixed as Investors Assess Key Japan Economic Data Releases

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as investors assess key economic data out from Japan on Friday.

The world’s third largest economy saw its core inflation rate rise to 2.9% in October, higher than the 2.8% seen in September. The headline inflation rate for October came in at 3.3%, accelerating from the 3% seen in from the month before.

The country will also expect flash estimates for its November factory activity from the au Jibun bank

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed upon its return from a public holiday, gaining 0.96%, while the Topix advanced 0.7%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.43%. South Korea’s Kospi slid marginally, but the small cap Kosdaq rose 0.13%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 1.17% on its open, but the mainland Chinese CSI 300 benchmark index saw a smaller loss of 0.11%

.N225Nikkei 225 Index*NIKKEI33637.99186.160.56
.HSIHang Seng Index*HSI17666.24-244.6-1.37
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200*ASX 2007045.616.40.23
.KS11KOSPI Index*KOSPI2500.44-14.52-0.58
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDX*CNBC 1008434.41-26.27-0.31

U.S. markets were closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, but will come back for a half day of trading on Friday.

Futures tied to the three major indexes were all up marginally, with futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.09% higher.

Meanwhile, S&P 500 futures climbed 0.08%, and the Nasdaq Composite futures gained 0.1%.

Malaysia’s inflation rate falls to 31 month low

Malaysia’s consumer price index recorded a 1.8% rise in October compared with a year ago, marking the slowest increase in the country’s inflation since April 2021.

The inflation figure was lower than September’s 1.9%, and also surprised expectations from economists polled by Reuters, who were forecasting a 2% inflation rate.

Malaysia’s statistics department explained that the October inflation figure was due to lower increases in the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Lower rates of increase were also seen in categories including prices of furnishings and household equipment, as well as alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

— Lim Hui Jie

Singapore set to tighten crypto rules to protect retail customers

Singapore will implement tighter rules for cryptocurrency service providers, following feedback on its proposed regulations, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

In a statement on Thursday, the MAS said that the measures are set to “limit potential consumer harm” and will take effect in phases starting in mid-2024.

The measures will include barring crypto service providers in Singapore from accepting locally issued credit card payments, offering incentives to trade in cryptocurrencies as well as providing financing, margin or leverage transactions for retail customers.

– Sheila Chiang

Japan November factory activity remains in contraction

Japan’s factory activity remained in contraction territory in November, according to a private survey.

The au Jibun Bank flash manufacturing purchasing manager’s index was at 48.1 in November, the lowest since February. It was also lower than 48.7 in October.

The November reading was the sixth straight month that factory activity in Japan contracted.

The survey said both high demand and the number of new orders will further shrink, and the rate of decline in the number of new orders will also continue to decline. Backlog declines were at an eight month high.

The flash services PMI for November was 51.7, virtually unchanged from 51.6 in October supported by a slight but sustained increase in business activity.

Readings below 50 denote a contraction, while above mean expansion.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Japan’s core consumer prices rise slower than expected in October

Japan’s core consumer prices rose at a slightly slower than expected pace in October, according to government data released on Friday.

Core CPI in Japan rose 2.9% last month on a year-over-year basis. This reading was below a Reuters poll forecast of a 3% rise.

The core reading includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices.

Excluding energy products and fresh food, consumer prices rose 4% in October from a year ago, slower than 4.2% in September.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Healthcare, AI and more: How one pro is investing for a ‘Goldilocks’ economy

Uncertainty in global markets coupled with persistently high inflation has raised the question of whether there will be a hard or soft economic landing.

Andy Budden, investment director for equities at global financial services firm Capital Group, is in the latter camp and expects the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep rates high but not tip the economy into a recession.

Taking into account his expected economic outcome, Budden named four themes to watch — and outlines the type of dividend stocks he likes.

— Amala Balakrishner

CNBC Pro: Global growth stocks are making a comeback, Goldman says, highlighting names

European growth stocks haven’t been doing as well as their U.S. peers this year.

Growth stocks in the region have underperformed value stocks by 13% since the start of the rate-hiking cycle in 2022, according to Goldman Sachs in a Nov. 20 report.

But the investment bank expects that to change soon, and highlighted some names.

— Weizhen Tan

OPEC+ oil group to hold virtual meeting on Nov. 30

Opec logo displayed on a smart phone with Opec  seen in the background, in this photo illustration. On 10 September 2023. In Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Opec logo displayed on a smart phone with Opec seen in the background, in this photo illustration. On 10 September 2023. In Brussels, Belgium. (Photo illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The influential oil group reuniting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will hold a virtual meeting to decide crude production strategy on Nov. 30, the OPEC Secretariat said.

The group, collectively known as OPEC+, was supposed to convene in person in Vienna over Nov. 25-26 but has since postponed its meeting amid inter-member disgruntlement — weighing on intraday prices on Thursday.

The Ice Brent contract with January expiry was trading at $80.30 per barrel at 2:10 p.m. London time, down by $1.66 per barrel from the Wednesday settlement. The Nymex WTI contract with January delivery was at $75.45 per barrel, lower by $1.65 per barrel from the previous day’s close price.

— Ruxandra Iordache

CNBC Pro: After a tough quarter for the global luxury sector, UBS reveals the 3 stocks to buy for 2024

UBS named three stocks in the luxury for investors looking ahead to 2024.

One of the bank’s stock picks is expected to rise by nearly 40% over the next 12 months despite the risk of a recession.

Analysts at the bank also said their three picks had attractive valuations that would see minimal downside in a potential downturn.

Source : CNBCC