Asia markets mixed ahead of U.S. inflation data


India leaves benchmark policy rate at 6.5%, in line with expectations

India’s central bank has held its policy repurchase rate for the third straight meeting in a row at 6.5%, in line with expectations from economists polled by Reuters.

The Reserve Bank of India explained that headline inflation is expected to surge in July and August, led by vegetable prices after a rebound to 4.81% in June.

The RBI said that the vegetable shock may reverse quickly, but possible El Niño weather conditions along with global food prices need to be watched closely.

The central bank said it was prepared to act, “should the situation so warrant.” It also reiterated its goal of bringing inflation down to its 4% target, as well as to anchor inflation expectations.

— Lim Hui Jie

Philippines economy expands slower than expected in second quarter

The Philippines gross domestic product expanded 4.3% year-on-year in the second quarter, surprising expectations from economists polled by Reuters, who expected a 6% expansion.

On a quarter on quarter basis, GDP fell 0.9%, a reversal from the 0.5% rise forecast by the Reuters poll.

The country’s statistics authority said the main contributors to the second quarter growth were wholesale and retail trade, financial and insurance activities as well as transportation and storage.

— Lim Hui Jie

Japan wholesale inflation rate slows for seventh straight month to 3.6%

Japan’s wholesale inflation rate slowed for a seventh straight month to 3.6%, down from June’s revised figure of 4.3%.

Wholesale inflation is measured by the corporate goods price index, which tracks the price companies charge each other for goods and services.

Prices of ceramic, stone and clay products saw the largest increase in July with a 15.2% year on year increase, while prices of lumber and wood products fell the most, recording a 23.1% drop year-on-year.

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Stocks, Treasurys or annuities? The pros weigh in on the best source of retirement income right now

Treasury yields and stocks have more upside ahead — and annuities are yielding more than ever, according to some Wall Street investors.

If you’re an investor, especially one nearing or in retirement, which would be the best source of income?

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

CNBC Pro: Bank of America reveals year-end price target for India’s NIFTY — and Morgan Stanley names its ‘top pick’ stock set to rise by 40%

Bank of America has revealed its year-end price target for India’s Nifty index.

The Wall Street bank said a change in outlook from its U.S. economics team was a key driver behind their India stock market prediction.

In addition, Morgan Stanley also revealed its “top pick” in the Indian banking sector, giving the stock 40% upside.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

A hot CPI reading could disappoint markets, CIO says

Markets are expecting the consumer price index reading to come in softer than expected, according to Bob Doll, chief investment officer or Crossmark Global Investments.

“That’s the expectation,” he said of a cool reading on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “The disappointment would be if it goes the other direction.”

— Alex Harring

Crude oil hits 9-month high, natgas a 5-month peak — and carry energy stocks up with them

September West Texas Intermediate crude oil contract touched $84.11 a barrel early Wednesday, the highest since mid-November, 2022, while October Brent, the global benchmark, rose to $87.19, or the highest since mid-April.

Meanwhile, September natural gas contracts reached $2.875 per thousand cubic feet, the highest since early March. U.S. natgas production and consumption will hit all-time highs in 2023, the Energy Information Administration said Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.

In reaction, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF jumped more than 2% early Wednesday, led in part by EQT, Coterra, SLB and Diamondback.

Strategas Research technical analyst Chris Verrone told clients in a report early Wednesday that SLB recently made a “new cycle high,” and APA Corp., formerly Apache, is on “the breakoput list.”

“The persistent offer that dominated the Oil market for much of the last year has evolved into a stealthy bid over recent weeks, also reflected with the renewed strength from Energy shares,” Veronne wrote. “Since the July 12th 3.00% CPI print, Energy has carried the flag of leadership, outperforming the next best sector (Financials) by over 300bps.”

— Scott Schnipper, Gina Francolla, Michael Bloom

Salesforce, financial stocks drag on Dow

Salesforce and a group of financial stocks were among the worst performing members of the Dow.

The software stock was the worst performer, down around 3%. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and American Express were also among the biggest laggards, with all more than 1% lower.

More than two-thirds of the 30 members traded down. Dow, Inc. was the best performing stock in the average, up nearly 1%.

The index as a whole shed around 0.6%.

— Alex Harring

Earnings season shaping up to be better than expected

More than nine out of every 10 S&P 500 companies have released their quarterly financials in this corporate earnings season as of Wednesday morning. And many have been surprisingly strong.

About four-fifths on companies in the broad index that have already reported have beat average expectations of Wall Street analysts, according to data from FactSet.

While most of this earnings season is in the rearview, some big-name companies have yet to report. One example: Disney is expected after the bell.

— Alex Harring



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