Bank of Korea opts for smaller hike; Asia markets rise after Fed signals slowing ‘soon’

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketBank of Korea opts for smaller hike; Asia markets rise after Fed signals slowing ‘soon’

Jihye Lee

Markets in the Asia-Pacific traded higher as the U.S. Federal Reserve said they expect to switch to smaller rate hikes “soon,” according to minutes released on Wednesday.

The Bank of Korea opted for a smaller 25 basis point hike, widely in line with expectations. The Kospi rose 0.54% and the Korean won slightly strengthened against the U.S. dollar to stand at 1,337.9 as the decision was announced.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 28444.19 328.45 1.17
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 17638.72 114.91 0.66
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 7255.3 23.5 0.32
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3101.91 5 0.16
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2432.77 14.76 0.61
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 7767.17 125.8 1.65

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.34% after stocks on Wall Street rose mildly following the Fed minutes release. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.31% and the Topix also traded 1.3% higher.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.29% while the Shenzhen Component traded marginally lower as Reuters reported large protests at Foxconn’s major iPhone factory in Zhengzhou were under control. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.45%.

Overnight in the U.S., stocks closed higher for a second day on hopes the central bank is seeing progress in its tight to tackle high inflation. Markets stateside are closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will close early on Friday.

– CNBC’s Carmen Reinicke and Sarah Min contributed to this report

Foxconn says new hires raised pay concerns, adds communication underway

Major Apple supplier Foxconn said that new recruits to its iPhone factory in Zhengzhou “appealed to the company” in regards to compensation, according to a statement on its website.

The statement comes after media reported a mass protest of hundreds of workers appeared to be triggered by a delay in bonus payment, with videos circulating on social media showing people smashing surveillance cameras and windows.

“The company has emphasized that the allowance has always been fulfilled based on contractual obligation and will continue to communicate with relevant colleagues,” Foxconn said in its statement, adding that reports of Covid-positive employees residing in the factory’s dormintories is “patently untrue.”

“Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again.”

Taiwan-listed shares of Hon Hai Technology Group, the formal name of Foxconn, traded 0.5% lower in the early Thursday session.

– Jihye Lee

Bank of Korea hikes rates by 25 basis points, meets expectations

The Bank of Korea raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%, a smaller hike than its previous move and widely in line with expectations.

A Reuters poll of economists had expected the move amid signs of slowing domestic growth.

The nation’s inflation rate for October was 5.7%, according to the latest figures released earlier this month – much higher than the central bank’s target of 2%.

BOK Governor Rhee Chang-yong is slated to hold a press conference later in the day on the monetary decision.

– Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Asset manager says investors must buy this large-cap stock right now

There’s one large-cap stock that investors must buy into right now, according to Rob Luna, chief investment strategist at asset manager Surevest.

He calls its CEO a “significant visionary.” While Luna has picked the one large-cap stock, he advised investors generally to reallocate into smaller names, naming two stocks that he called “best in breed.”

— Weizhen Tan

Stocks rise for second day as Wall Street cheers Fed signaling smaller rate hikes ahead

Stocks rose Wednesday and notched the second straight day of gains as investors cheered minutes from the Federal Reserve that signaled a slower pace of interest rate hikes ahead.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95.96 points, or 0.28%, to 34,194.06. The S&P 500 gained 0.59% to close at 4,027.26 and the Nasdaq Composite increased 0.99% to 11,285.32.

Shares of Nordstrom fell 4.24% after the department store chain reaffirmed its forecast. However, Nordstrom beat profit and sales expectations in its latest results, according to consensus expectations on Refinitiv. Tesla rose 7.82% after Citi upgraded shares to neutral from sell. Deere surged 5.03% on an earnings beat.

—Carmen Reinicke

CNBC Pro: Betting against a British supermarket, short-seller expects nearly 50% collapse in share price

There’s more pain to come for investors in a British supermarket company if short-seller’s a prediction comes through.

The hedge fund currently holds a bearish bet worth £32.6 million and expects shares in the grocer to fall by 44%.

The fund’s chief investment officer also believes the supermarket will raise fresh capital by diluting shareholders year after year to keep itself afloat in a challenging environment.

— Ganesh Rao

Fed minutes show smaller rate hikes ahead, stocks gain

Stocks rose Wednesday afternoon following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting. The report showed that the central bank sees progress in its fight to lower inflation and expects to slow the pace of interest rate hikes going forward.

“A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate,” the minutes stated. “The uncertain lags and magnitudes associated with the effects of monetary policy actions on economic activity and inflation were among the reasons cited regarding why such an assessment was important.”

That means that the Fed will likely deliver a smaller rate hike in December and in the early months of 2023.

Markets cheered the news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130 points, or 0.38%. The S&P 500 gained 0.70% and the Nasdaq Composite increased 1.10%.

—Carmen Reinicke

Source : CNBC

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