Asia-Pacific markets mixed; Thailand election results take center stage as baht strengthens [Advance Cash ]

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An hour ago

Thai baht rallies against dollar as opposition parties make significant gains in election

The Thai baht rallied on Monday, strengthening 0.6% to 33.73 against the US dollar as Thailand's opposition parties are expected to be the big winners in Sunday's general election.

The baht hovered at its highest levels since February this year, when it traded below 33.5.

The currency hit its recent weakest point in October last year as the US Federal Reserve continued its tightening cycle above 38.3 against the greenback, the weakest the Thai currency has been in since August 2006, according to Refinitiv data.

The Thai currency resisted weakness seen in the forex market among Asian currencies on Monday, with the Japanese yen weakening 0.06% to 135.79 against the US dollar and the relatively stable onshore Chinese yuan.

Citi economist Nalin Chutchotitham said Thailand's medium-term economic outlook "could see heightened risks from populist economic policies that could raise questions about future fiscal discipline," she wrote in a note from Sunday.

—Jihye Lee

An hour ago

South Korea's trade deficit narrows for fourth straight month

South Korea's trade deficit narrowed for a fourth consecutive month to a revised figure of $2.65 billion in April, a Monday statement showed, slightly higher than the preliminary figure of $2.62 billion. released earlier this month.

The latest reading follows a $4.74 billion deficit seen in March and marks the 14th consecutive month that the country's trade balance remains in deficit territory, in which imports exceed the amount of exports.

The revised figure was also lower than the $2.89 billion shortfall expected by economists polled by Reuters.

April exports stood at $49.58 billion, down 14.3% from April last year, while imports stood at $52.23 billion, in down 13.3% year-on-year.

Trade in the first ten days of May also indicated that exports fell 10.1% while imports also fell 5.7%, a separate statement from last Thursday showed.

—Lim Hui Jie

2 hours ago

Asian Week Ahead: Thai GDP, Chinese Data, Central Bank of the Philippines, G-7 Summit

The release of economic data and a Group of Seven summit in Japan will be the highlights of this week's events in the Asia-Pacific region.

On Monday, Thailand's gross domestic product for the first quarter will be released in the morning. Goldman Sachs economists expect the economy to post 1.8% quarter-on-quarter growth as consumption picks up and inventories rebound amid slowing activity factories.

China publishes a series of economic data on Tuesday: industrial production, retail sales, growth in investment in fixed assets and the unemployment rate. From a low base seen in April a year ago, market watchers widely expect economic indicators to reflect a rebound in growth.

Economists polled by Reuters expect industrial production to grow 10.1% year-on-year in April after growing 3.9% the previous month. They also see retail sales jump 20.1% for the month after the economy jumped 10.6% in March.

The Australian central bank's minutes and first-quarter wage price index will be released on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

New Zealand will unveil its annual budget for the year on Thursday, in which its finance minister described as focusing on returning to "a more sustainable fiscal position".

The central bank of the Philippines will meet and is widely expected to keep its key rate unchanged at 6.25% on Thursday, especially after the economy saw a slight slowdown in its inflation rate at the start of the month. month.

If the central bank were to suspend its rate hike cycle, it would be the first since March 2022.

—Jihye Lee

An hour ago

CNBC Pro: UBS is currently betting on European banks rather than automakers. here's why

European banking stocks are poised to outperform automakers for the foreseeable future, according to UBS.

The investment bank highlighted three structural shifts that could generate significant gains for banking stocks relative to their auto counterparts, despite similarities in their economic cycles.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about these three reasons here.

—Ganesh Rao

An hour ago

CNBC Pro: Bank of America Likes These 10 Unloved Global Stocks With Major Upside

Bank of America strategists have named the ten European stocks they believe are currently undervalued and could provide significant investment returns.

These selections, which the investment bank calls the "Beat Factor Top 10", are mainly made up of industrial and financial companies.

One of the stocks offers more than 60% upside over the next 12 months, according to the investment bank.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

—Ganesh Rao

Fri, May 12, 2023 12:33 PM EDT

17 S&P 500 stocks hit new highs

Seventeen S&P 500 stocks hit new highs on Friday, with many trading at all-time highs. Food companies were among the notable names.

New S&P 500 52-Week Highs:

  • O'Reilly Auto is trading at record highs since its IPO in April 1993
  • PulteGroup has been trading at historic highs since its IPO in 1972
  • General Mills has traded at historic highs since its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 1928
  • Pepsico has been trading at historic highs since Pepsi-Cola merged with Frito-Lay in 1965 to form Pepsico
  • First Solar is trading at levels not seen since September 2008

Meanwhile, 11 stocks hit 52-week lows:

  • Match Group has been trading at historic lows since its IPO in November 2015
  • Organon is trading at historic lows since its June 2021 Merck spin-off

—Chris Hayes, Sarah Min

Fri, May 12, 2023 10:14 a.m. EDT

Consumer confidence falls more than expected in May

Consumers turned more pessimistic in May as continued high inflation and banking sector difficulties weighed on confidence.

The University of Michigan consumer survey showed a reading of 57.7 for the month, down from 63.5 in April and below the Dow Jones consensus estimate of 63.

Inflation expectations for one year from now fell slightly to 4.5%, but rose on the five-year outlook to 3.2%, tied with the highest since June 2008.

—Jeff Cox

Fri, May 12, 2023 9:04 AM EDT

Bitcoin is heading for its worst week of the year

Bitcoin is on course to end the week down 10.6%, which would make it its worst week since Nov. 11, in the days following the collapse of FTX, according to Coin Metrics.

It last traded down more than 1% at $26,416.31. Previously, it had hit a low of 26,138.19%, its lowest level since March 17. The crypto asset slid all week as investors weighed in on a host of negative developments, including:

  • A false alarm suggesting the US government's move of bitcoin for a potential selloff, which sparked a wave of long selloffs;
  • Network congestion and higher fees, which led Binance to suspend bitcoin withdrawals;
  • Market makers Jump and Jane Street announcing a reduction in their U.S. crypto trading, under pressure from regulatory crackdowns and adding to the existing liquidity problem in crypto,
  • Uncertainties surrounding the US debt ceiling and Federal Reserve policy.

Bitcoin has finished down or less than 1% over the past six days. That in itself could weigh on the mood, said Yuya Hasegawa, crypto market analyst at Japanese bitcoin exchange Bitbank.

—Tanaya Macheel

Fri, May 12, 2023 7:31 AM EDT

Fed's Michelle Bowman warns more rate hikes may be needed

Further interest rate hikes may be needed if economic data does not show more convincing signs of falling inflation, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said on Friday.

“If inflation remains elevated and the labor market remains tight, further monetary policy tightening is likely to be appropriate to achieve a sufficiently tight monetary policy stance to reduce inflation over time,” Bowman said. in prepared remarks for a speech in Frankfurt, Germany.

Even though this week's consumer and producer price indices showed that the annual pace of inflation slowed slightly in April, the central bank official said that these figures, combined with the report on mass nonfarm payrolls last week, "have not provided consistent evidence that inflation is on a downward path." ."

—Jeff Cox