Asia-Pacific shares trade mixed, tracking Wall Street’s struggle for direction

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia-Pacific shares trade mixed, tracking Wall Street’s struggle for direction

Lee Ying Shan

Asia-Pacific shares traded mixed on Wednesday, taking the lead from Wall Street’s struggle for direction as China and Hong Kong markets remain closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

In South Korea, the Kospi rose 1.3%, while the Kosdaq climbed 1.16% in its first hour of trade. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.22% and the Topix shed 0.06%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded flat as investors await the release of the country’s inflation reading.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 27295.42 -3.77 -0.01
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 22044.65 393.67 1.82
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 7490.2 -0.2 0
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3264.81 24.53 0.76
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2395.26 14.92 0.63
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 8695.6 14.89 0.17

Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed for a holiday.

New Zealand’s fourth quarter inflation reading rose 1.4% quarter-on-quarter. Indonesia is slated to release its core inflation data for December.

Overnight in the U.S., major indexes struggled for direction with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed on a third day of gains, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite took a dip.

New Zealand’s annualized inflation rate holds steady at 7.2%

New Zealand’s year-on-year inflation rate held steady at 7.2% in December, slightly below a three decade high.

“Housing and household utilities was the largest contributor to the December 2022 annual inflation rate. This was due to rising prices for both constructing and renting housing,” a report released by Statistics New Zealand stated.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, New Zealand’s CPI reading for the fourth quarter rose 1.4%.

—Lee Ying Shan

Dow finishes 104 points higher

Stocks fought for direction Tuesday, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished higher.

The 30-stock index gained 104.40 points, or 0.31%, to close at 33,733.96. The S&P 500 dipped 0.07% to settle at 4,016.95, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.27% to end at 11,334.27.

— Samantha Subin

Correction: An earlier version of this blog misstated the Dow’s move for the session.

Alphabet shares decline as DOJ sues Google

Alphabet declined nearly 2% Tuesday after the U.S. Justice Department filed its second antitrust lawsuit against Google in a little over two years.

The lawsuit, the first against the company filed under the Biden administration, calls for a breakup within Google’s advertising business.

— Lauren Feiner, Samantha Subin

Business activity slowdown reminiscent of financial crisis, S&P says

Manufacturing and services activity slowed again in January as signs of a looming recession build.

Flash readings from S&P Global released Tuesday morning indicated both sectors in contraction. The services purchase managers index registered a 46.6 reading, up from 44.7 in December but still in contraction area. Likewise, the manufacturing reading was at 46.8, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous month.

Readings below 50 in the surveys indicate contraction as the indexes indicate the percentage level of businesses reporting expansion.

“The US economy has started 2023 on a disappointingly soft note, with business activity contracting sharply again in January,” said Chris Williamson, S&P Global’s chief business economist. “Although moderating compared to December, the rate of decline is among the steepest seen since the global financial crisis, reflecting falling activity across both manufacturing and services.”

The reports also indicated that input prices rose in January after several months of softening trends.

— Jeff Cox

Source : cnbc

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