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Recessions Risks Knock Stocks, Speculators Drawn Back to Yen

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Recessions risks knock stocks, speculators drawn back to yen By Reuters

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Stock Markets 21 minutes ago (Jan 18, 2023 09:35PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Banknotes of Japanese yen are seen in this illustration picture taken September 23, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian stock markets struggled to make headway on Thursday, after weak U.S. consumer data stoked recession worries and nudged investors toward safe assets such as bonds, while Japan’s yen rose as markets doubted the Bank of Japan’s policy commitments.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8% and benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields, which fall when prices rise, hit their lowest since September at 3.66%. U.S. crude futures fell 1%.

Japan’s Nikkei also dropped 1% and the yen rose about 0.4% to 128.45 per dollar, unwinding moves that followed the Bank of Japan (BOJ) scotching speculation of a shift and leaving monetary policy settings unchanged a day earlier.

The BOJ has pursued ultra-easy policy settings for decades in an attempt to generate inflation and growth, but markets doubt it can keep that up, and traders have been selling Japanese government bonds and buying yen to bet on a shift.

The Nikkei dip and the bounce for the yen suggest such speculation is here to stay, at least for now.

“There’s an intense amount of speculation in the market that now that the January (BOJ) meeting has happened without any changes … that we’ll see something in March,” said Shafali Sachdev, head of FX, fixed income and commodities in Asia at BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) Wealth Management in Singapore.

April was another possibility, she added, since by then the BOJ would have a new governor. “My guess would be that more speculators would look to build positions going into these meetings.”

Ten-year Japanese government bonds, the focus of markets’ challenge to the BOJ because of the zero-yield target and 0.5 percentage point limit on its upward movement, yielded 0.415%. [JP/]

RECESSION RISK

Overnight, the S&P 500 lost 1.6% after data showed U.S. manufacturing output had slumped last month and retail sales had fallen by the most in a year.

S&P 500 futures dropped 0.2% in Asia and were close to breaking below the 50-day moving average.

“The decline in retail spending and industrial production adds to the theme of the economy slowing and heading into recession in 2023, and pushes back on the soft landing narrative dominating markets since January,” said National Australia Bank (OTC:NABZY)’s head of market economics, Tapas Strickland.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s announcement of 10,000 layoffs and hawkish comments from Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard added to the gloom, with both Fed officials expecting U.S. interest rates above 5% this year.

The dollar wound back London-trade losses in the New York session and made gains in Asia. The Australian dollar was last down 0.5% at $0.6907, losing ground after data showed an unexpected fall in Australian employment last month.

The euro was under gentle pressure at $1.1078 and the New Zealand dollar wobbled slightly lower on news of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s surprise resignation.

Minutes from last month’s European Central Bank meeting are due later on Thursday, as is an appearance from ECB President Christine Lagarde at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Recessions risks knock stocks, speculators drawn back to yen

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Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

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Israel Hits Gaza After Rocket Fire Despite U.S. Appeal for Calm

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Israel says it intercepted rocket fired from Gaza By Reuters

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World 8 hours ago (Feb 01, 2023 01:20PM ET)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli military said a rocket launched from Gaza was intercepted on Wednesday, a day after the United States appealed to all sides to calm escalating violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s ambulance service said one woman slipped and fell while running to a shelter but no damage was reported. There was no claim of responsibility from either Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, or the smaller Iran-backed Islamic Jihad movement which fired rockets at Israel last week.

But the rocket launch underlined the tensions between Israel and the Palestinians after a Palestinian gunman shot dead seven people outside a synagogue in Jerusalem and an Israeli raid in a West Bank refugee camp in which 10 Palestinians were killed.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged calm on both sides during a visit to the region on Tuesday, in which he reaffirmed Washington’s support for a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict.

In a tweet sent after the rocket launch, Israel’s hardline National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who oversees prisons, said he would push ahead with plans to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

“The rocket fire from Gaza will not stop me from continuing efforts to cancel summer camp conditions for murderous terrorists,” he said, adding that he had asked the security cabinet to convene.

Israel has been carrying out near-daily raids in the West Bank since a spate of deadly attacks by Palestinians in Israel last year, leading to a bloody January for Palestinians in which 35 were people, militants and civilians, were killed.

Israel says it intercepted rocket fired from Gaza

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South Korea Vows Support for Exporters As Economy Shrinks

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South Korean economy shrinks in Q4 for first time in 2-1/2 years By Reuters

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Economic Indicators 5 minutes ago (Jan 25, 2023 06:33PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The skyline of central Seoul is seen during a foggy day in Seoul March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s economy contracted in the final quarter of 2022 for the first time in 2-1/2 years, as a post-pandemic spending spree faded and global trade tumbled, central bank estimates showed on Thursday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.4% in the October-December period from the previous quarter, the Bank of Korea estimated, after a 0.3% gain in the July-September quarter. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected a 0.3% fall.

Leading the first GDP decline since the second quarter of 2020 were losses of 5.8% in exports and 0.4% in private consumption, whereas government spending posted a sharp 3.2% increase, the central bank estimates showed.

Fourth-quarter 2022 GDP was 1.4% higher than a year earlier, compared with a 3.1% annual gain seen in the third quarter and the 1.5% forecast in the poll.

The central bank estimated that in 2022 the full-year value of the economy, Asia’s fourth-largest, had been 2.6% larger than in 2021, when it showed growth of 4.1%. The average growth in full-year GDP for 2017 to 2021 was 2.3% a year.

The central bank’s latest growth forecast for 2023 full-year GDP is 1.7%, but its warning this month that it might downgrade that outlook prompted investors to bet that its Jan. 13 interest rate rise had marked the end of a tightening cycle that began in August 2021.

South Koreans spent heavily on consumption after pandemic controls were removed by early 2022, but spending behaviour has since returned to more normal levels. This has occurred just as demand for South Korean exports has declined with the weakening of foreign economies subject to interest rate rises aimed at containing inflation.

South Korean economy shrinks in Q4 for first time in 2-1/2 years

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Musk Says China Rivals ‘work Hardest, Smartest’

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Musk says China rivals ‘work hardest, smartest’ By Reuters

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Stock Markets 11 minutes ago (Jan 25, 2023 09:46PM ET)

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(C) Reuters. A Tesla supercharging station is seen in the early morning sun, in Kettleman City, California, U.S., January 25, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake
2/2

(Reuters) – Detroit? Nope. Germany? Nein. Elon Musk sees the toughest competition for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in China, home of the company he expects “most likely to be second” in electric vehicles.

China is Tesla Inc’s second-largest market – accounted for about two-thirds of all electric vehicles sales globally in 2022 – and the home of Tesla’s biggest plant.

It’s also a market that has embraced EVs and is replete with rivals competing on style and price, including Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV), Nio (NYSE:NIO) and BYD Co (OTC:BYDDF) Ltd.

Releasing financial results on Wednesday, Tesla said they showed recent deep price cuts were stimulating demand, and that the company is cutting costs with a view to growing through what Musk expects will be a recession this year.

Asked about Tesla’s competition, Musk responded that he respected car companies in China, calling it the most competitive market in the world. Musk did not identify any Chinese automakers by name.

“They work the hardest and they work the smartest,” he said. “And so we guess, there is probably some company out of China as the most likely to be second to Tesla.”

Tesla recently promoted China chief Tom Zhu to run U.S. factories and sales in North America and Europe, Reuters has reported.

“Our team is winning in China. And think we actually are able to attract the best talent in China. So hopefully that continues.”

Tesla has cut prices in response to growing competition and slowing demand in China, followed by cuts in the United States and other markets.

Musk has praised Chinese workers and competitors before.

In 2021, he called Chinese automakers the “most competitive in the world,” saying some of them are very good at software. He also said Chinese workers had been “burning the 3 a.m. oil” to keep Tesla’s factories running during COVID lockdowns last year.

Musk says China rivals ‘work hardest, smartest’

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Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

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