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Hong Kong stocks tumble 2% amid broader decline in Asia markets, China gains

1 month ago 31

Neon ads in Dotonbori district, Osaka, Kansai region, Japan

Alexander Spatari | Moment | Getty Images

Hong Kong led declines in Asia-Pacific markets on Tuesday, with Japanese stocks also halting their record-breaking rally that has seen benchmark indexes hit multi-decade highs.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 2.06%, while mainland China's CSI 300 index reversed losses to gain 0.61% to 3,300.87 — the only benchmark in positive territory.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 0.79% to close at 35,619.18, snapping a six-day winning streak. The broad-based Topix fell 0.82% to 2,503.98.

Japan's December corporate goods price index came in flat year on year, compared with a 0.30% fall expected by economists in a Reuters poll. The CGPI climbed 0.30% month on month, compared with estimates of it remaining flat.

The Nikkei has hit key milestones of 34,000, 35,000 and 36,000 — levels the index has not seen since 1990.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 marked a third straight day of losses as commodity stocks dragged the index, falling 1.09%.

South Korea's Kospi declined 1.12% to end at 2,497.59, its lowest level since Dec.7, while the small-cap Kosdaq fell 0.57% to 854.83.

U.S. markets were closed Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday, but futures indicate that the three main indexes were likely to fall when markets resume trading.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.13%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures were each 0.15% lower.

Investors are looking ahead to U.S. December retail sales data out Wednesday, which could fuel recessionary fears and concerns about economic growth if consumer spending shows signs of cooling down.

Economists polled by FactSet anticipate an increase of 0.2% for the month, slightly under the 0.3% increase in November.

— CNBC's Pia Singh contributed to this report

Hong Kong leads losses in Asia as real estate, consumption stocks drop

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index led losses among major Asian benchmarks on Tuesday, falling 2.36%, dragged lower by real estate and consumer non-cyclical stocks.

The biggest loser on the HSI was JD Health International, which plunged 6.84%. The company is the largest online healthcare platform in China and a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant JD.com.

Other names in the top losers list included Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp, an investment company that primarily makes and sells instant noodles and beverages through its subsidiaries, as well as consumer electronics company Lenovo Group.

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— Lim Hui Jie

China consumers more likely to save than spend in first half of 2024, StanChart says

StanChart discusses what's behind China's weak consumer confidence

China has been battling weak domestic demand, and the country has pledged to boost consumption at home.

"Domestic consumer confidence is soft because of the softer labor market and softer incomes," Eric Robertsen, global head of research at Standard Chartered Bank, told CNBC's Street Signs Asia.

Due to the softer income levels, Robertsen argued that even with China's interest rates below 3% and more liquidity in the market, "the Chinese consumer will be inclined more to save than to spend, which will be watched in the first half of the year."

He said more fiscal and monetary stimulus is expected.

Mainland China's CSI 300 index shed 11.4% last year, clocking their third straight year in the red. The index was down 0.4% in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

Commodity miners weigh down Australian markets as ASX200 hits four week low

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 hit four-week lows Tuesday, dragged by commodity stocks as underlying prices slipped. The index also led losses in the region, falling 1.2%, and hitting its lowest level since Dec. 14.

Iron ore prices fell after China's central back held its medium-term lending facility rate at 2.5% on Monday. China is the world's top consumer of iron ore.

The benchmark February iron ore contract on the Singapore Exchange traded at $127.9 a ton, hitting its lowest level since Dec. 5.

Fortescue lead losses among heavyweight miners on the ASX, losing 2.31%. Counterparts Rio Tinto and BHP Group dipped 1.83% and 1.46%, respectively.

— Lim Hui Jie

Japan producer prices climb 0.3% in December

Japan's corporate goods price index rose 0.3% month-on-month in December, beating expectations of economists polled by Reuters.

The Reuters poll estimated December CGPI to remain unchanged from November.

The CGPI remained flat in December compared with the same period a year earlier, compared with Reuters expectations of a 0.3% fall.

— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley picks global 'alpha' opportunities for January - giving one 50% upside

Asian markets may have had a rocky 2023, but those looking for pockets of opportunities in the region can look to Morgan Stanley's selection of "alpha" stocks.

Alpha stocks are those with the ability to beat the market.

The stocks - which are from Asia Pacific ex-Japan - have a market capitalization of over $5 billion and were ranked on factors such as quality, value and sentiment, Morgan Stanley's analysts wrote.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read about Morgan Stanley's top 10 notable ideas here .

— Amala Balakrishner

CNBC Pro: Bank of America upgrades global wind energy stock after a brutal 2023 – and gives it 20% upside

Bank of America has upgraded a wind energy stock from "neutral" to "buy" citing an improved risk-reward profile.

The upgrade and price target boost come after the stock has already staged a recovery of more than 50% from its lows last year.

The Wall Street bank is also bullish on the stock after a series of negative headlines regarding project delays and cost overruns dented sentiment for the wind energy sector in 2023.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

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