Asia markets trade mixed as China first quarter GDP beats expectations

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia markets trade mixed as China first quarter GDP beats expectations

Jihye Lee & Lim Hui Jie

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as China’s economy grew more than expected at 4.5% year-on-year, beating estimates to see growth of 4% in a Reuters poll.

The onshore Chinese yuan slightly strengthened following the report.

The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.11% and the Shenzhen Component was marginally lower. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was 0.62% lower.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.25%, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.29% and the Kosdaq shed 0.1%.

Japanese markets bucked the trend in the region, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.54% and the Topix gaining 0.73%.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 28675.32 160.54 0.56
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 20628.31 -154.14 -0.74
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 7366.7 -14.8 -0.2
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3380.73 -4.88 -0.14
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2570.79 -5.12 -0.2
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 8269.32 -18.29 -0.22

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes rose as traders combed through the latest batch of corporate earnings results, searching for clues on the health of corporate America.

The S&P 500 rose 0.33%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.28% to settle at 12,157.72.

— CNBC’s Samantha Subin and Brian Evans contributed to this report

China’s economy expanded 4.5% in the first quarter of 2023

China’s gross domestic product rose by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

That was compared with the 4% forecast in a Reuters poll and marks the fastest growth seen since the first quarter of last year. The economy expanded 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Retail sales jumped by 10.6% in March, higher than Reuters’ expectations to see 7.4% growth – industrial output rose 3.9% for the month, lower than the forecast of 4% by Reuters.

The Chinese yuan strengthened 0.1% to 6.8712 against the U.S. dollar after the report.

– Jihye Lee

Hong Kong EV maker stocks track gains on Wall Street

Hong Kong shares of electric vehicle makers Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto bucked the larger downturn on the Hang Seng index on Tuesday, tracking gains in their U.S.-listed shares.

On Monday, Xpeng’s U.S. shares surged nearly 13% after the electric vehicle maker unveiled a new production platform aimed at improving costs and production speeds.

Xpeng’s Hong Kong shares climbed 6.02% in early trade Tuesday, while Nio and Li Auto gained 1.96% and 2.56% respectively.

— Lim Hui Jie

Reserve Bank of Australia warns of further tightening if needed

The Reserve Bank of Australia warned of further tightening in monetary policy could come if needed, minutes released from its April meeting showed on Tuesday.

The central bank’s board “members observed that it was important to be clear that monetary policy may need to be tightened at subsequent meetings and that the purpose of pausing at this meeting was to allow time to gather more information,” it said in its statement.

Board members had debated between raising its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis point and holding the rates steady, adding the case for the latter was stronger.

The RBA kept its policy rate unchanged earlier this month.

– Jihye Lee

Bank of Japan considers lowering inflation target: Jiji

Japan’s central bank is considering to lower its inflation outlook for the economy’s fiscal year of 2025, Jiji Press reported on Tuesday.

The Bank of Japan will consider introducing a new inflation forecast for fiscal 2025 to “a year-on-year rate of change in the upper 1% range,” the report said, adding that it will be reflected in the next quarterly outlook report to be released later this month.

Governor Kazuo Ueda is slated to appear in Japan’s parliament later today, Reuters reported.

– Jihye Lee

HSBC’s largest shareholder to vote for breakup of bank at annual meeting: Reuters

HSBC’s biggest shareholder Ping An is likely to vote in favor to break up the bank at its annual investor meeting on May 5, Reuters reported.

Citing a source “familiar with the Chinese insurer’s thinking”, Reuters said that Ping An will vote in favor of two resolutions that called for HSBC to pay out fixed dividends and to spin off its Asia business.

The insurance firm currently owns around 8% of HSBC.

HSBC’s other institutional shareholders, “have so far shown little appetite for a break-up,” Reuters added.

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Citi says it’s time to reconsider ESG, naming 3 stocks that could soar by 30%

Investments in Environmental, Social, and Governance stocks underperformed the broader market in 2022, but strategists at the Wall Street bank Citi think the theme is set to rebound this year.

The investment bank identified several ESG stocks that are expected to rebound this year, with at least three stocks poised for a 30% upside potential.

— Ganesh Rao

China’s economy expected to have grown 4% in first quarter: Reuters poll

China’s economy is expected to have grown 4% in the first quarter of this year, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

This comes after the fourth quarter of 2022 saw growth of 2.9% and would mark the highest growth in a year, after China’s GDP rose 4.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022.

Quarter-on-quarter, the economy is forecast to have expanded 2.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis after the reading was flat in the previous period.

China is slated to release its GDP report on Tuesday. The Chinese onshore yuan slightly weakened to 6.8772 in Asia’s Monday morning trade.

— Jihye Lee

Earnings season off to best start since at least 2012, according to Bank of America

Despite persistent inflation, higher rates and fears of an impending recession, earnings season is off to one of its best starts in a little over a decade, according to data from Bank of America.

Of the 30 companies that have reported so far, 90% have beat earnings per share expectations, marking the best beat rate after week one since at least 2012, wrote Savita Subramanian in a Monday note to clients.

She added that 73% of companies that reported last week surpassed sales expectations, while 67% beat on both measures. Last quarter’s week one results showed just 46% of companies beat on both EPS and sales, while the historical average sits at just 48%.

“Fueled by bank beats, 1Q EPS is tracking a 30bp surprise,” the equity and quant strategist said. “We forecast an in-line quarter but expect more downward guidance and some commentary around changes in cash use if credit conditions deteriorate.”

Overall, consensus expectations are calling for a more than 7% decline in first-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 year over year, she noted.

Big bank earnings may have offered some relief, but the market isn’t out of the woods just yet as credit impacts emerge in areas like industrials.

“A massive, systemic financial confidence shock appears to have been averted, but tighter credit is manifesting in the real economy,” she said.

— Samantha Subin

CNBC Pro: Goldman names 4 stocks to play $5 trillion e-commerce opportunity — including one with 70% upside

The e-commerce sector has seen growth slow after two years of pandemic-fueled growth. But the industry is far from being in a decline, according to Goldman Sachs.

The bank says e-commerce will benefit from secular growth tailwinds, and sees global sales reaching $4.8 trillion by 2026.

— Zavier Ong

Banks could turn to stricter lending practices and nullify need for Fed tightening, Yellen says

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen thinks banks could become more restrictive with lending which could allow the Fed to stop hiking interest rates.

Yellen told CNN on Saturday that the threat of further fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has been sustained thanks to successful policy actions, while outflows have substantially stabilized.

“Banks are likely to become somewhat more cautious in this environment,” Yellen said. “We already saw some tightening of lending standards in the banking system prior to that episode, and there may be some more to come.”

And if more of that tightening does come to fruition, Yellen added, such action could serve as “a substitute for further interest rate hikes that the Fed needs to make.”

— Brian Evans

Schwab posts first-quarter profit that tops expectations, but deposits fell 30%

Charles Schwab on Monday posted results that topped analysts’ expectations on profit, but also disclosed a 30% decline in deposits from a year ago.

The company said first-quarter net income rose 14% to $1.6 billion from a year earlier, or 83 cents a share.

When excluding expenses tied to acquisitions and other charges, Schwab posted 93 cents of adjusted earnings per share, topping the 90 cent estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Revenue climbed 10% to $5.12 billion, just below the $5.13 billion estimate.

Shares of the company were up less than 1% in morning trading.

“While equity markets rebounded from year-end 2022 levels, investor sentiment remained bearish – especially following the onset of the banking industry turmoil in early March,” CEO Walt Bettinger said in the earnings release. “Through the various ups and downs to start the year, Schwab remained a trusted partner to investors.”

Schwab, a leading retail brokerage and bank, has been under pressure since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last month as the market sought to punish other financial firms experiencing deposit flight. The industry’s deposits have been in flux as customers awaken to the lure of higher yielding places to park their cash, including money market funds.

Since going commission free in 2019, Schwab has been more dependent on fee revenue from its bank, which benefits when the brokerage sweeps customers’ cash into low-yielding accounts.

But customers have been moving funds in force as the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increase makes money markets more alluring.

Schwab said that deposits tumbled 30% from a year ago to $325.7 billion in the first quarter, a staggering $140.1 billion drop. Compared to the fourth quarter, deposits were 11% lower.

Fees from bank accounts slumped by 49% to $151 million.

CFO Peter Crawford acknowledged the deposit drain in a statement, but added that the pace of flows was declining as the quarter went on, “even when allowing for a temporary spike in activity at the onset of the banking system turmoil.”

—Hugh Son

Financial stocks paint mixed picture as earnings roll in

Shares of Bank of New York Mellon dropped 5.7% ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings report on Tuesday. The bank stock is leading the S&P 500′s top decliners on Monday along with State Street, which was down 10.4% after its first-quarter earnings fell short of expectations, and Moderna.

“Because bank multiples are down so much, a lot of these banks are trading at March 2020 levels, so think peak-pandemic,” CFRA Research analyst Alexander Yokum said Monday on “Squawk on the Street.” “For banks that do not see a hit to profitability, for banks that do not see significant deposit outflows, especially those regionals, they could really pop on earnings.”

Shares of Charles Schwab and M&T Bank were recently trading higher after positive earnings reports. Charles Schwab added 2.3% after topping analysts’ expectations on profit, despite also reporting a 30% decline in deposits from a year ago, while M&T Bank jumped 6.5% after beating first-quarter estimates on the top and bottom lines.

The KBW Bank Index was last up 0.4%, while the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF was 1.6% higher.

— Pia Singh

China electric vehicle stocks jump as XPeng announces new production platform

XPeng shares surged nearly 13% on Monday after the electric vehicle maker unveiled a new production platform aimed at improving costs and production speeds.

Other China-based electric vehicle makers Nio and Li Auto rose 7.2% and 5%, respectively, on the announcement.

— Samantha Subin

Source : cnbc

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