Asia Pacific Markets, Fed Minutes, Inflation, PMI, Singapore Retail, Caixin Services

Oil prices rebound after two days of decline in China’s pent-up travel demand

Oil prices climbed more than 1% after two days of declines as China’s reopening added optimism for an economic rebound and support for demand.

Brent crude futures rose 1.08% to $78.68 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate futures gained 1.19% to $73.71 a barrel.

Investors appear to have shrugged off concerns of a possible global recession due to fragile economic growth prospects in the United States and China, leading to a more than 9% drop in oil prices over the past two days.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Bank of America Sees 50% Rise in This Global Fertilizer Stock Due to Global Shortage

Bank of America sees a 50% rise in shares of a global fertilizer maker due to a global shortage.

The Wall Street bank says the company has a 55% profit margin because it is insulated from rising natural gas prices.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

What the fertilizer crisis means for food prices

Chinese Caixin Services Data Shows Improvement and Remains in Contraction Territory

The Caixin China General Services Purchasing Managers Index showed an easing of pressure on the sector for the month of December, with a reading of 48, holding in contraction territory.

The print rose after seeing a six-month low the previous month with a reading of 46.7.

The 50 point mark separates growth from contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-to-month expansion or contraction.

“Optimism has improved significantly,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group, adding that the gauge of expectations for future activity rose nearly 4 points from a month ago.

“Service providers have expressed strong confidence in an economic recovery following the easing of Covid containment measures,” Wang said.

– Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Tech had a brutal year. But four stocks have a bright future, investor says

The tech sector took a beating in 2022.

But investment professional Jason Ware is unfazed. He remains bullish on technology and named four stocks he likes.

Pro subscribers can learn more here.

— Zavier Ong

Hong Kong’s S&P Global PMI indicates slight private sector contraction

The S&P Hong Kong Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 49.6 in December from 48.7 in November, although it remained in contraction territory for the fourth consecutive month.

S&P said a slower contraction seen in the city’s private sector was due to a pick-up in business activity in the last month of 2022, supported by the easing of Covid restrictions.

Demand in the city remains subdued, S&P said, adding that overall new orders are declining due to deteriorating economic conditions.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Citi is bearish on lithium – at least for the near future. But it gives some stocks a big advantage

Citi is bearish on lithium – at least for the foreseeable future. Lithium is an essential component of electric vehicle batteries.

But the bank remains bullish on its long-term outlook and names three stocks to watch.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

—Weizhen Tan

Fed officials expect higher rates for ‘some time’, minutes say

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its Dec. 13-14 meeting, which showed central bank officials expect rates to be higher for “some time.”

“Participants generally observed that tight policy should be maintained until incoming data provided assurance that inflation was on a sustained downward path to 2%, which should take some time,” says the summary of the meeting. “Given the persistent and unacceptably high level of inflation, several participants said historical experience cautions against premature easing of monetary policy.”

“A number of participants stressed that it would be important to communicate clearly that a slowdown in the pace of rate increases was not an indication of a weakening of the Committee’s resolve to achieve its goal of price stability or of a judgment that inflation was already on a persistent downward path,” the minutes read.

—Jeff Cox

November JOLTS better than expected

Job vacancies in November were 10.5 million, according to the latest Job Vacancies and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.

The report is slightly better than expected, although little changed from the previous month. Analysts expected JOLTS to be around 10 million in November.

The number of hires and the total number of departures were also little changed, at 6.1 million and 5.9 million, respectively. There were also 4.2 million resignations and 1.4 million layoffs and layoffs during the month.

—Carmen Reinicke

Chinese ADRs rise in pre-market trading

Chinese ADRs soared in premarket trading after Ant Group received approval to raise its share capital, a sign that Chinese regulators may be loosening their grip on the country’s tech sector.

Shares of JD.com and Ali Baba each increased by more than 6%. NetEase, Baidu and Trip.com other stocks made notable upward moves.

Ant Group, which previously had its own IPO plans scuttled by regulatory concerns, was allowed to double its share capital under the new plan.

—Jesse Pound

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