Asian markets are mixed even as Wall Street rallies heading into Thanksgiving

4 hours ago

Oil prices continue to slide after OPEC postpones its political meeting

Oil prices plunged more than 1% after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, postponed their policy meeting for four days. The oil cartel meetings were postponed from November 25th to 26th to November 30th.

Global benchmark Brent crude traded 1.2% lower at $80.99 a barrel on Thursday, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures slipped 1.04% to $76.3 a barrel.

The shift could be due to disagreements among cartel members, said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.

He pointed out that on the one hand, African countries such as Nigeria, Angola and Congo want higher production quotas, while other parties such as the UAE have been allowed to increase their production since January.

“This has left Saudi Arabia with the burden of balancing supply and demand in the oil market on its shoulders,” Lipow said.

Saudi Arabia’s oil exports fell 17.1% year-on-year in September.

–Lee Ying Shan

4 hours ago

Inflation in Singapore accelerates for the second month in a row and is above expectations

Singapore’s consumer price index rose 4.7% year-on-year in October, above September’s 4.1% rise.

The reading was also above the 4.45% expected by economists and was the second straight month that the country’s inflation rate accelerated.

The MAS core inflation measure, which excludes accommodation and private transport prices and is used by the country’s monetary authority as a measure of inflation, rose to 3.3% in October from 3% in September.

MAS explained that the increase was largely due to higher inflation for services, retail and other goods, as well as an increase in electricity and gas costs.

—Lim Hui Jie

8 hours ago

Alibaba shares were little changed after Jack Ma halted his plans to cut Alibaba shares

Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s shares in Hong Kong were little changed after news that founder Jack Ma had shelved plans to reduce his stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant following a fall in its share price.

The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell 0.26% from their previous closing price of 76.85 Hong Kong dollars ($9.86) on Wednesday.

According to an internal memo seen by CNBC, Alibaba Chief People Officer Jane Jiang told employees that Ma had not sold a single share and that Alibaba’s shares were currently trading below the company’s actual value, Jiang added, citing this as a reason why Ma did not cut his stake.

Alibaba’s regulatory filings on Nov. 16 showed that Ma plans to sell 10 million shares worth about $870 million.

Read the whole story here.

—Lim Hui Jie, Arjun Kharpal

9 hours ago

Australia’s business is shrinking at its fastest pace in over two years

Australia’s business contracted at its fastest pace in 27 months, according to flash estimates from Judo Bank.

The country’s composite purchasing managers’ index came in at 46.4, a faster decline compared to October’s 47.6. The manufacturing PMI fell to 47.7, a 42-month low, while the services PMI hit a 26-month low at 46.3.

The bank’s report said the decline was mainly due to “sharper declines in new business in both the manufacturing and services sectors.”

“This came amid widespread reports of weaker economic conditions and high interest rates negatively impacting households,” it added.

—Lim Hui Jie

9 hours ago

CNBC Pro: Alibaba, Baidu and more: Jefferies names Asian stocks with significant ‘hidden value’

Asian stock markets may have had a weak year, but excessive liquidity among companies in the region is a hidden opportunity for investors, according to Jefferies.

“When a company hoards cash on its balance sheet, its PE valuations appear much more expensive than they should be without the excess cash,” the investment bank’s analysts wrote.

Jefferies looked for Asian companies with “significant cash value and strong fundamentals” that it said would be “good candidates” for buybacks and dividends.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

—Amala Balakrishner

14 hours ago

Keep an eye on earnings as the economy begins to slow, investor says

There is great hope in the stock markets that the Federal Reserve is finished with its tightening campaign. However, a market watcher warned investors to keep an eye on earnings as the economy shows signs of slowing.

“At some point, you know, of course, a slowdown becomes a victim of its own success, so to speak,” Jack Ablin, head of investments at Cresset Capital, said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Wednesday. The investor pointed to same-store sales growth in line with inflation over the past 12 months.

“What this really means is that there is no volume growth and that any sales increases that many retailers and other companies have achieved over the last 12 months are simply due to pricing power,” Ablin added. “Well, if prices go up now and we see that downward trend, that could start to impact revenues and margins.”

The investment chief recommended that investors stick to high-quality growth companies with healthy and growing dividends. He prefers names like medical device maker Medtronic, water company Ecolab and pharmaceutical company AbbVie.

—Sarah Min

9 hours ago

CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley Is Bullish on This Emerging AI Trend — and Names 6 Stocks That Could Take Advantage of It

According to Morgan Stanley, some artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role.

The trend could help save costs, reduce latency (or lag time), among other benefits, Morgan Stanley said.

It named six companies that will benefit most from this trend and are expected to achieve above-average results in 2024 and 2025.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Weizhen Tan

14 hours ago

Energy stocks are lagging

Energy stocks underperformed the S&P 500 on Wednesday.

The sector fell 0.4%, making it the worst-performing sector among the 11 sectors that make up the broad index. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was up about 0.3%.

EOG Resources and Baker Hughes led the sector with declines of more than 1% each. Occidental Petroleum and Halliburton were the second-worst performers, both losing about 0.9%.

About two out of three stocks in the energy sector were trading in the red. On the other hand, Valero Energy was the best performer in the sector, rising 1.7% in the session.

—Alex Harring

14 hours ago

US crude oil falls after OPEC meeting postponed

U.S. crude oil prices fell on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries postponed a key meeting on production cuts.

The West Texas Intermediate January contract fell 67 cents, or 0.86%, to close at $77.10 a barrel, while the January Brent contract fell 49 cents, or 0.59%, to $81.96 a barrel .

OPEC has postponed the meeting of energy ministers until next Thursday. The organization did not give a reason, but delegates told Bloomberg that Saudi Arabia and its allies were having difficulty convincing Angola and Nigeria to accept lower production targets.

–Spencer Kimball

20 hours ago

Initial claims for unemployment benefits are lower than expected

Initial jobless claims for the week ending Nov. 18 were 209,000, down 24,000 from the previous week. This value is also 20,000 below a Dow Jones consensus estimate.

The data is another indication that the US economy is resilient despite higher interest rates.

—Fred Imbert