Asia-Pacific markets, trade data, Bank of Japan

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South Korea’s economy has contracted for the first time since 2020

South Korea’s gross domestic product fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter, the first contraction in two and a half years.

According to the Bank of Korea, private consumption fell by 0.4%, exports by 5.8% and manufacturing by 4.1%.

Government spending rose sharply by 3.2% compared to the 0.1% increase in the third quarter.

On an annual basis, South Korea’s GDP rose 1.4% in the last quarter compared to a year earlier, slightly below Reuters’ expectations of 1.5% growth.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Want to take advantage of China’s reopening? Bank of America and UBS have somewhat less obvious stock choices

Stocks in certain key sectors directly related to China’s reopening, such as domestic consumption and travel, have performed well in recent months.

Investors looking to access these stocks may find them unpalatable at current valuations. But there could be another way to play the reopening, with Bank of America and UBS have identified a range of less obvious beneficiaries outside of China.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: Lithium has a strong year ahead – and China’s reopening will boost this stock, says analyst

Thanks to China’s reopening, things are looking good for the electric car industry, especially in the second half of the year, an analyst says.

Corinne Blanchard, vice president of lithium and clean tech equity research at Deutsche Bank, cites one of the top stock picks.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Stocks finish mixed

Stocks were mixed on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.88 points, or 0.03%, to end at 33,743.84. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.18% to close at 11,313.36, and the S&P 500 fell 0.02% to settle at 4,016.22.

— Samantha Subin

Microsoft stock loses profit after hours and turns negative

Microsoft shares fell about 1% in afterhours trading, reversing previous gains.

Shares were initially higher after the company posted quarterly earnings per share that beat Street’s expectations. However, investor sentiment deteriorated after Microsoft issued disappointing guidance for current quarter revenue during its earnings conference call.

The company forecast revenue of $50.5 billion to $51.5 billion in the fiscal third quarter, while analysts polled by Refinitiv had forecast $52.43 billion.

Read more about Microsoft’s results here.

Darla Mercado, Jordan Novet

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