Asian markets were mixed ahead of the Christmas weekend; Tencent and NetEase crash in Hong Kong –

2 hours ago

Inflation rate in Malaysia reaches lowest level since February 2021

Malaysia’s inflation rate fell to 1.5% in November, compared to 1.8% in October, reaching its lowest level since February 2021.

November’s reading was also below the 1.7% expected in a Portal poll of economists. On a monthly basis, inflation remained flat in November, compared with a 0.1% increase in the previous month.

Statistics Malaysia said the lower inflation rate was due to lower price increases in areas such as restaurants and hotels, as well as food and non-alcoholic drinks.

—Lim Hui Jie

3 hours ago

Shares of Tencent and NetEase plunge due to China’s new draft online gambling guidelines

Shares of Tencent and NetEase plunged on Friday after China released draft guidelines aimed at curbing incentives that could lead to excessive gaming and spending.

Tencent shares plunged more than 13% to their lowest level since November 2022.

NetEase slumped over 25% to around HK$120, its lowest level since January – breaking below key technical support provided by a February low.

Read this development story to find out more.

– Clement Tan

5 hours ago

Oil prices are recovering a day after Angola’s exit from OPEC pushed prices lower

Oil prices rebounded on Friday, a day after Angola’s announcement of its withdrawal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led to price declines.

Brent crude oil futures for January rose 0.83% to trade at $80.05 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose 0.88% to $74.54.

According to a Portal report, Angola announced on Thursday that it would withdraw from OPEC. The country’s oil minister stated that the bloc no longer serves the country’s interests.

—Lim Hui Jie

8 hours ago

The Bank of Japan struggled to communicate a change in its YCC stance in October, minutes show

In October, Bank of Japan board members discussed how to communicate a change to the central bank’s yield curve control policy, meeting minutes show.

The BOJ adjusted its yield curve control policy in October, saying that the target level of the 10-year Japanese government bond yield will be kept at 0%, but that the 1% cap will be used “as a reference” instead, a strict cap.

Some members felt that despite this move, it was necessary to emphasize that the BOJ still intends to continue monetary easing with YCC.

A member also said that the bank should clarify that the measure is not intended as a preparation for the abolition of YCC and the negative interest rate policy.

Another BOJ board member noted that to avoid unnecessary market speculation, the bank should clearly state that its policy decisions are based on the outlook for economic activity and prices.

“This is to avoid encouraging speculative transactions by creating the impression that the BOJ was forced to make policy decisions to follow fluctuations in market interest rates,” the member said, according to the minutes.

—Lim Hui Jie

9 hours ago

Inflation in Japan falls to its lowest level since July 2022

Japan’s headline inflation rate slowed to 2.8% in November from 3.3% in October – the lowest since July 2022.

Core inflation in November, which excludes fresh food prices, slowed to 2.5% from 2.9%, in line with expectations of economists polled by Portal.

So-called “core-core” inflation, which excludes fresh food and energy prices, was 3.8%, compared with 4% in October. This is a key metric that the Bank of Japan takes into account when making monetary policy decisions.

4 hours ago

CNBC Pro: Interest rates have probably peaked. Here are some global growth stocks that Goldman Sachs likes

According to Goldman Sachs, interest rates appear to have peaked and growth stocks are an area worth considering right now.

“With interest rates appearing to have peaked, Pure Growth … provides duration exposure, while Stable Growers … is more defensive,” the investment bank wrote in a December note.

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced there would be three rate cuts in 2024, ending a cycle of 11 rate hikes. Rate hikes have typically not been good for growth stocks.

Goldman conducted two stock screens for its so-called pure growth and stable grower categories.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Weizhen Tan

4 hours ago

CNBC Pro: Citi has updated its “highest conviction” stock list for Europe, naming four stocks that can beat the market

14 hours ago

Time for the “Santa Clause Rally” begins on Friday

Wall Street will be watching to see if a “Santa Claus rally” – meaning the gains typical of the last five trading days of the year and the first two of the new year – will occur this holiday season. This year the season starts on Friday and ends on January 3rd.

Since 1969, the S&P 500 has gained an average of 1.3% over that period, according to Jeff Hirsch, editor of Stock Trader’s Almanac. However, the editor pointed out that a failure of the Santa Clause rally has historically been a harbinger of poor stock performance.

“The lack of a Santa Claus rally tends to precede bear markets, or periods when stocks could be purchased at lower prices later in the year,” Hirsch wrote in a blog post. “Declining SCRs were followed by flat years in 1994, 2005 and 2015, two severe bear markets in 2000 and 2008, and a mild bear market that ended in February 2016.”

“Yale Hirsch’s now famous line says, ‘If Santa Claus doesn’t call, bears might come to Broad and Wall,’” Hirsch added.

Yale Hirsch, who invented the term, was the founder of the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

—Sarah Min

17 hours ago

The S&P 500 is heading for its longest weekly winning streak since 2017

The S&P 500 is poised for another week of gains, extending its winning streak to levels not seen in about six years.

The broad index is up 0.3% this week, on track to record its eighth consecutive positive week.

That would be the longest weekly winning streak since 2017. This year, the index climbed for eight weeks in a row between September and November.

This rally has helped push the benchmark close to all-time highs that are being closely watched by investors.

See grafic…

The S&P 500 this week

19 hours ago

Real GDP is lower than expected in the third quarter

The third measurement of real gross domestic product was lower than expected.

Real gross domestic product rose 4.9% annually in the third quarter, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s less than the second estimate’s 5.2% rise and lower than the 5.1% rise that economists polled by Dow Jones had expected.

In the second quarter, real GDP rose by 2.1%.

—Sarah Min

16 hours ago

Semiconductor stocks rise after strong earnings from Micron Technology