Indian Morning Briefing: Asian Markets Higher; China Inflation Eased in December – Morningstar.com

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The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the first time in days, led by a rebound in shares of technology companies, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s efforts to corral inflation.
Stocks opened lower and dipped further as senators peppered Mr. Powell with questions during his reconfirmation hearing for a second term as Fed chair. Indexes later recovered.
The S&P 500 added 42.78 points, or 0.9%, to 4713.07, snapping a five-day losing streak. The Nasdaq Composite added 210.62 points, or 1.4%, to 15153.45, building on Monday’s midday turnaround. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 183.15 points, or 0.5%, to 36252.02, its first gain in five days.
Japanese stocks were higher in morning trade, led by gains in energy, electronics and tech stocks as bargain hunting kicked in following selloffs driven by concerns about stimulus reduction by global central banks. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday the central bank was preparing to raise interest rates because the economy no longer needed emergency support. Covid-19 infection trends were in focus, as are the Japanese government’s countermeasures. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 1.2% at 28549.31.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.1% to 2958.17 in early trade, led by gains in energy and internet stocks. Wall Street’s gains overnight following Fed Chair Powell’s testimony was helping buoy investor sentiment. However, trading volume remained thin in morning trade as investors await new U.S. inflation data. Some growth stocks regained ground after recent falls, with Oil refiner SK Innovation climbing 4.4%. Battery and chemical maker LG Chem gained 2.7%. Meanwhile, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries retreat 3.8% and 2.3%, respectively, after a media report that EU competition officials were preparing to block their merger.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.4% at 24081.76 in morning trade as tech stocks rallied following gains in the U.S. ADR market, KGI Securities said. The Hang Seng Tech Index was up 2.9% at 5783.57. Gains were being led by JD.com, which is up 8.1% following its positive performance in the U.S. session. Among other tech stocks, Meituan rose 4.6% while NetEase traded 3.9% higher. CNOOC also rose 6.9% after the oil major said it planned to increase production. KGI Securities reckoned CNOOC shares could continue to perform well due to the recent uptrend in oil prices.
Chinese stocks were higher in morning trade, recovering slightly from Tuesday’s losses, as electric-vehicle suppliers strengthened. Data released yesterday showed China’s passenger car sales rose 4.4% in 2021, snapping a three-year decline, with EV sales driving the increase. Battery maker CATL gained 3.1%, Zijin Mining was 3.2% higher while auto maker BYD Co. advanced 3.6%. Sectors weighing on the market include steelmakers, home appliances and property developers. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3%, the Shenzhen Composite Index climbed 0.7% and the ChiNext Price Index gained 1.3%.
JPY weakened against most G-10 and Asian currencies as Fed Chair Powell’s comments overnight triggered a risk-on mood, undermining the safe-haven appeal of the Japanese yen. Powell’s comments indicated that Fed officials have afforded themselves maximum flexibility to deal with changing dynamics, while seeking to remove a belief that they are stuck on a set path, Pepperstone said. While Powell didn’t really push back on market pricing around Fed rate increases, relief has certainly played out across markets, Pepperstone said. USD/JPY edged 0.1% higher to 115.38, SGD/JPY was up 0.1% at 85.44 and AUD/JPY was 0.1% higher at 83.20.
Gold prices were flat in early Asian trade. U.S. Treasury yields fell slightly on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that the central bank is likely to begin normalizing policy this year, Oanda said. Spot gold was flat at $1,820.94/oz.
Oil prices were higher in early Asian trade due to global supply risks, ANZ said. Oil production in Libya rose after it reopened its Sahara oil field, but exports from some of the country’s shipping terminals could be shut due to bad weather, the bank said. OPEC has been struggling to deliver a monthly production increase of 400,000 barrels a day as a few members have been unable to deliver targeted volumes, ANZ said. The front-month WTI contract was recently 0.4% higher at $81.52/bbl while front-month Brent Crude added 0.2% to $83.88/bbl.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 11, 2022 22:15 ET (03:15 GMT)
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