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Stocks In Asia Mixed After Wall Street Breaks Its Losing Streak

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(CTN NEWS) – BANGKOK – After Wall Street’s slight comeback, driven by tech companies, which ended the market’s longest losing streak since December, shares in Asia were mixed on Friday.

Benchmarks increased in Sydney and Tokyo but decreased in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Seoul. U.S. futures moved slightly lower as oil prices increased.

Japan stated that in January, the increase in its core consumer price index—which excludes volatile fresh foods—was the highest in 41 years.

But, economist Kazuo Ueda, who has been nominated to lead the country’s central bank, told lawmakers he favors keeping Japan’s benchmark interest rate close to zero to ensure stable growth.

When BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda leaves office in April after serving two terms of five years characterized by historically lax regulations, Ueda is anticipated to take over.

Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Though Ueda attempted to dismiss such expectations, talk over a potential change in the ultra-lax monetary posture has been sparked by the leadership change.

Ueda informed the legislature that the price increases are at their height and that “time is needed before the consequences of monetary policy set in.”

The BOJ is hesitant to change course because of concerns over a potential global recession and the fact that wages in Japan have not kept up with price rises.

According to Darren Tay of Capital Economics, food inflation “suggests that it has already peaked” due to its waning momentum.

We still anticipate inflation to drop below the Bank of Japan’s 2% target by mid-year, despite the government’s energy subsidies going into force this month.

The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia increased 0.3% to 7,307.00, while the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo increased 1.3% to 27,453.48.

A currency trader gestures at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The Sensex in India dropped 0.2% to 59,467.56.

The Shanghai Composite index dropped by 0.6% to 3,267.16 and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong shed 1.2% to 20,099.79. The Kospi in South Korea fell 0.6% to 2,423.61. Taiwan and Bangkok also said no.

The S&P 500 gained 0.5% on Thursday, closing at 4,012.32 for its first rise in five days. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.7% to 11,590.40 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 33,153,91.

After Nvidia posted better-than-expected profits for the most recent quarter, tech stocks took the lead. After it also provided a sales prediction for the near future that exceeded certain analysts’ forecasts, its shares increased by 14%.

It cited the resurging popularity of video games and the desire for products utilizing artificial intelligence.

Concerns about rising interest rates have recently hurt tech and high-growth equities. They are considered to be among the most susceptible as the Federal Reserve raises rates in an effort to combat inflation.

A person wearing a protective mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Wall Street To Increase Its Predictions

Prices for investments suffer from high rates, especially those deemed to be the riskiest, most expensive, or whose major growth is expected to occur in the farthest future. They increase the likelihood of a recession by slowing the economy.

A growing number of reports have revealed that the American economy is doing better than anticipated, giving rise to optimism that a recession can be avoided.

But, this has also compelled Wall Street to increase its predictions for the level and duration of interest rates.

The latest sign that the labor market is still robust is that fewer workers than anticipated applied for unemployment benefits last week. According to a different analysis, the economy probably grew a little less than predicted in the final three months of 2022.

However, the US economy expanded at a 2.7% annual rate.

The bond market, where Treasury yields have surged higher this month, has shown the strongest evidence of Wall Street’s elevated expectations for rates and the Fed.

On Thursday, they relaxed a little bit, easing some of the pressure on stocks.

People wearing protective masks walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage and other significant lending rates, decreased from 3.93% late Wednesday to 3.86% early Friday. It reached a peak of 3.95% earlier this week, getting close to its highest point since November.

Moderna, whose shares dropped 6.7% after it said its fourth-quarter profit plunged 70% as COVID-19 vaccine sales declined and the company caught up on a royalty payment, was among the losers on Wall Street.

In other trade on Friday, New York Mercantile Exchange electronic trading saw U.S. benchmark crude oil rise 70 cents to $76.09 per barrel.

The benchmark price for international trade, Brent crude, increased by 73 cents to $82.68 per barrel.

The American dollar decreased from 134.70 Japanese yen to 134.66 yen. From $1.0596 to $1.0594, the euro decreased.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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