Asia-Pacific Markets, Trade Data, Bank of Japan

Toyota’s CEO is stepping down from the post effective April 1

Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyoda will step down from his post on April 1 to be replaced by current Chief Branding Officer Koji Sato, the Japanese automaker said.

Toyoda will become the new chairman of the board, while current chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada will continue as a member of the board.

“I believed that the best way to advance Toyota’s transformation would be for me to become chairman in support of a new president, and this has led to today’s decision,” Toyoda said in a webcast.

Tokyo-listed shares of Toyota ended the session 0.63% lower on Thursday ahead of the announcement.

– Ruxandra Iordache, Jihye Lee

Hyundai has a fantastic profit in the fourth quarter

Hyundai Motor posted net income of 1.71 trillion won ($1.4 billion) for the fourth quarter ended December, up 143.8% year-on-year.

Despite the excellent results, the reading was still shy of Refinitiv’s forecast of 2.5 trillion won in net profit.

The figure also marks a growth of 21.1% compared to the previous quarter that ended September.

The automaker’s sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales were a major contributor to the results, with Hyundai expecting “strong sales of high-end models to continue.”

The company’s shares were last up 6.04% on Thursday.

– Lee Ying Shan

Singapore factory output falls 3.1%, extending decline since October

Singapore’s annual manufacturing output for December fell 3.1%, beating Reuters expectations for a 6.9% plunge.

The reading marks the third straight drop since October and follows November’s figure of a 3.2% drop.

On a month-on-month basis, Singapore’s manufacturing data rose 3.2%, compared with a 1.2% decline in the previous month.

– Lee Ying Shan

Hang Seng Index heavyweights come into play after holidays

Heavyweight stocks in Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index played catch-up after returning from the Lunar New Year holiday, with the index jumping 1.8%.

Technology company shares Xiaomi and Lenovo increased by 9.27% ​​and 4.51% respectively.

Property companies’ shares saw a similar boost. Longfor Group saw an increase of 6%, while Logan Group increased 7.35 per cent. Country garden increased by 3.13 per cent.

Shares in Hong Kong-listed car companies also rose, with BYD adding 5.83% and Geely an increase of 4.32 per cent.

– Lee Ying Shan

Macquarie estimates Hyundai will post a record operating profit of 3.2 trillion won

Hyundai is expected to deliver a record 3.2 trillion won ($2.597 billion) in operating profit, according to an earnings forecast by Macquarie’s Capital Head of Mobility Research, James Hong.

“We are slightly above market consensus,” said Hong, who attributed the projection to the company’s Brazilian manufacturing arm driving sales volume growth, as well as foreign currency tailwinds from the weak Korean won against the dollar.

According to Refinitiv estimates, Hyundai is expected to deliver fourth-quarter net income of 2.311 trillion won, which would mark an 81% increase from the company’s third-quarter net income of 1.272 trillion won.

Hyundai’s earnings call is scheduled for 13.00 local time.

The company’s shares rose most recently by 1.93 per cent.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Wall Street majors share when global stock markets could fall and by how much

While stocks continue their rise, several major financial institutions are now predicting a significant decline in global equity markets.

That S&P 500 index is up more than 10% since its low last October. In Europe is STOXX 600 has increased by more than 15% in the same period.

But according to some investment banks, those gains are now at risk as they fear the lagged effects of monetary policy tightening are likely to hit earnings and cause compression in profit margins this year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read about when the market is likely to bottom and by how much here.

– Ganesh Rao

The Philippines’ economy grows strongly by 7.2% in the fourth quarter

The Philippine economy grew a robust 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022, beating expectations, according to data from the statistics agency.

A Reuters poll had forecast gross domestic product growth to reach 6.5% in the final three months of 2022, from a year earlier.

For the full year, the economy grew 7.6% in 2022 on the back of strong growth in sectors such as wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, which increased by 8.7 per cent. Manufacturing came in at 5% and construction 12.7%.

“It just so happens that for this year, what matters is really domestic consumption, and that’s what the Philippines has,” said Alicia Garcia-Herrero, chief Asia economist at Natixis, who spoke to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday , before release of GDP data.

“For that reason, I think 2023 will be pretty good for the Philippines compared to the rest of the region. Also the fact… that the central bank will have to do a little bit more – maybe as much as 6%, and then break. And interest rates are very important for consumption.”

She added that interest rates will start to fall next year and that is “positive again” for the Philippines.

—Sumathi Bala

The Bank of Japan emphasizes the need to maintain current monetary policy

The Bank of Japan stressed the need to maintain its current monetary policy, including leaving the steering of the yield curve unchanged, according to a summary of statements from its last meeting published on Thursday.

“The Bank needs to continue with the current yield curve controls given the outlook that it will take time to reach the price stability target of 2 percent in a sustainable and stable manner,” the statement said, reiterating its unchanged stance on its inflation target. .

The central bank continued its operations by buying Japanese government bonds in response to upward pressure on interest rates. The Nikkei reported earlier this week that the BOJ disclosed technically more than 100% of several key 10-year JGBs – or ran higher than the issue amounts.

“There has been upward pressure on long-term interest rates and the distortions in the yield curve have not disappeared,” the BOJ said in its Summary of Opinions, noting further purchases of JGBs as one of many actions it could take to keeping its yield curve controlled within its tolerance range.

– Jihye Lee

Singapore’s factory output is expected to fall 6.9%, extending the decline since October

Singapore’s year-on-year manufacturing output for December is expected to fall 6.9%, according to analysts polled by Reuters, which would register more than double the decline recorded in November.

The expected forecast will also extend Singapore’s manufacturing output decline since October, and November’s figure of a 3.2% decline.

On a monthly basis, Singapore’s factory output is expected to register a 1.1% decline.

– Lee Ying Shan

South Korea’s economy marks first contraction since 2020

South Korea’s gross domestic product fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter, marking the first decline in two and a half years.

Private consumption fell 0.4%, exports fell 5.8% and manufacturing shrank 4.1%, according to the Bank of Korea.

Government spending rose sharply by 3.2% compared with the third quarter’s increase of 0.1%.

On a year-over-year basis, South Korea’s GDP last quarter rose 1.4% from a year earlier, slightly missing Reuters’ expectations of 1.5% growth.

– Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Want to cash in on China’s reopening? Bank of America and UBS have some less obvious stock picks

Stocks in certain key sectors directly related to China’s reopening, such as domestic consumption and travel, have performed well in recent months.

Investors looking for access to these stocks may find them uncomfortable at current valuations. But there could be another way to play the reopening, with Bank of America and UBS to have identified a number of less obvious beneficiaries outside of China.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: Lithium has a strong year ahead — and China’s reopening will boost this stock, analyst says

Things are looking up for the EV industry thanks to China’s reopening — especially in the second half, an analyst says.

Corinne Blanchard, vice president of lithium and cleantech equity analysis at Deutsche Bank, mentions a top stock pick.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Stocks end mixed

Stocks were mixed on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.88 points, or 0.03%, to 33,743.84. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.18% to close at 11,313.36, and the S&P 500 dipped 0.02% to settle at 4,016.22.

— Samantha Subin

Microsoft shares fall after hours and turn negative

Microsoft shares fell about 1% in after-hours trading, reversing earlier gains.

Shares were initially higher after the company reported quarterly earnings per stock that beat Street expectations. However, investor sentiment soured after Microsoft issued disappointing revenue guidance for the current quarter at its earnings conference call.

The company forecast $50.5 billion to $51.5 billion in fiscal third-quarter revenue, while analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected $52.43 billion.

Read more about Microsoft’s results here.

Darla Mercado, Jordan Novet

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