Asian markets fall as investors process private surveys on factory activity

An hour ago

BHP cuts its dividend by 40% after a profit drop of almost a third

Mining giant BHP has cut its dividend by 40% after it reported a drop in profits and revenue for its six-month period from June to December 2022.

The dividend for the half year was 90 cents, down from $1.50 a year ago.

In a press release, BHP reported that revenue fell 16% year over year from $30.5 billion to $25.7 billion, while profits were $6.5 billion, down 32% from $9.7 billion in the same year. period a year ago

However, CEO Mike Henry said the company is “positive” about the demand outlook.

“We expect domestic demand in China and India to provide a stabilizing counterbalance to the ongoing slowdown in global trade and the economies of the US, Japan and Europe,” said Henry.

Shares of BHP Group in Australia traded 1.9% lower following the announcement.

— Lim Hui Jie

An hour ago

Japanese Jibun Bank flash purchasing managers index falls

The au Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing purchasing managers index fell further into contraction territory to 47.4 in February, after a rise of 48.9 in January, a publication showed.

Meanwhile, there was stronger service sector growth in the economy, standing at 53.6 in February, up from 52.3 in January.

According to Andrew Harker, Economics Director of S&P Global Market Intelligence, new orders and production fell at the largest rate in just over 2.5 years.

– Jihy Lee

An hour ago

Australia’s central bank echoes Lowe’s aggressive remarks

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting in February when it raised its cash rate by 25 basis points showed that a pause in its hikes was not an option.

Members had debated between a 25 basis point and 50 basis point increase — the latter over concerns about “inward prices and wages exceeding expectations,” the statement said.

The argument to raise benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points recognized the need to “be more balanced in the economy” while noting that inflation was expected to peak, it said.

The central bank’s board “agreed that further rate hikes are likely to be necessary in the coming months to ensure inflation returns to target and that the current period of high inflation is only temporary,” the minutes said. .

– Jihy Lee

An hour ago

CNBC Pro: Nvidia vs TSMC: Wall Street pros name their favorite stock as chip battle heats up

Nvidia and TSMC have both made headlines in recent weeks, albeit for different reasons. What’s next for two of Wall Street’s favorite chip stocks?

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

An hour ago

Private factory activity in Australia fell for a fifth consecutive month in February

Australia’s private sector output contracted for a fifth consecutive month in February, but at its slowest pace since October 2022.

According to data from Juno Bank, the composite purchasing managers’ index came in at 49.2 in February, up from 48.5 in January.

A PMI above 50 indicates growth, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction in growth.

The bank noted that lower demand for Australian goods and services led to a decline in overall business activity, although the rate of decline was marginal.

It also explained that a renewed deterioration in demand affected overall business activity as companies cited higher interest rates and economic uncertainties as reasons for dampening demand.

However, foreign demand increased on the back of better manufacturing export orders in February, while hiring activity continued at a “solid pace” as companies remained optimistic and price pressures eased.

— Lim Hui Jie

46 minutes ago

CNBC Pro: ‘Insure against the worst’: Goldman picks stocks for a soft – and hard – economic landing

Investors are on edge after US stocks fell for three consecutive weeks, signaling the possibility of higher interest rates lasting longer than expected.

Despite this challenging environment, Goldman Sachs remains optimistic and expects a “soft landing” for the US economy.

Nevertheless, the investment bank advised its clients, “Expect the best (soft landing) but insure against the worst (hard landing),” in a note published Feb. 17.

The investment bank named a number of stocks that it says will benefit from any scenario.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesha Rao

Sun, February 19, 2023 7:13 PM EST

Week Ahead: FOMC Minutes, RBA, Bank of Korea, Xi Speech

Here are the key events that Asia Pacific investors will watch this week.

The US Federal Open Market Committee will release minutes from its last meeting later in the week, which closes on Feb. 1.

On Monday, China will publish its 1-year and 5-year bond prime rates for February. Malaysia will report its trade data later today.

On Tuesday, private surveys will release purchasing managers’ indices in Australia and Japan. The US will also publish its PMI and New Zealand will publish its Q4 producer price index.

Investors will also be watching closely for minutes at the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest interest rate decision meeting.

Japan will also publish its producer price index on Wednesday. Australia’s January composite leading index and the national wage price index for the fourth quarter will also be released on this day.

New Zealand will also announce its trade balance for January on Wednesday.

The Bank of Korea will announce its interest rate decision on Thursday morning. Economists polled by Reuters expect the central bank to pause and leave its benchmark rate unchanged. Singapore’s consumer price index for January will also be released.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will reportedly deliver a “peace speech” on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.

— Jihye Lee


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