December 1, 2023
More cargo ships from Ukraine use civilian corridor despite Russian threats– Most Asian stocks rose on Monday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 briefly hitting its highest level in more than 30 years as Chinese markets gained on the promise of more government stimulus measures.

But gains were still limited in anticipation of more signals from the Federal Reserve this week, while technology stocks were on edge as markets await NVIDIA Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) key quarterly earnings on Tuesday.

The interest rate decision in China appears to have given markets some signals, as the People’s Bank of China kept its key lending rate near a record low, as widely expected. The PBOC also injected about 80 billion yuan of liquidity into the markets.

But Chinese stocks were supported by a bounce in property stocks after Chinese regulators vowed to provide more policy support to the troubled real estate sector.

China’s Shanghai CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite pared early losses to rise 0.5%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.6%, recovering from two days of steep losses.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.2%, supported by some strength in commodity shares. The focus now turned to the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s November meeting for more signals on monetary policy, when the bank raised interest rates but offered a somewhat dovish outlook.

Broader Asian markets were also cautious ahead of details of the Federal Reserve’s late-October meeting on Tuesday. More signals about US interest rates are expected within minutes after the central bank kept rates steady in October.

Still, recent readings on the labor market and inflation suggest the Fed may have raised interest rates, resulting in a boost for Asian stocks last week.

South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.7%, while India’s Nifty 50 index futures pointed to a slower start.

BOJ hopeful, Nikkei earnings at highest level in 33 years

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was flat on Monday, after hitting its highest level since 1990.

Japanese shares were boosted by several strong earnings results this month, while foreign investors poured into the sector on the prospect of a continued dovish stance from the Bank of Japan.

The BOJ is the only major central bank that still maintains an extremely loose stance, with its asset purchases and quantitative control measures attracting a large number of buyers into Japanese stocks.

Asian chipmakers keep Nvidia in mind

Asian chipmaking stocks were higher on Monday ahead of Nvidia’s quarterly earnings on Tuesday.

Japan’s Advantest Corp. (TYO:6857) — which supplies chip testing equipment to Nvidia — fell 0.2%, while South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc. (KS:000660), which supplies memory chips, rose 1%. .

TSMC (TW:2330) (NYSE:TSM) — the world’s largest contract chip maker and another major Nvidia supplier — fell 0.5% in Taiwan trading.

The focus will be entirely on whether Nvidia was able to maintain its strong earnings momentum during the third quarter. The company is also expected to give more signals about a surge in AI-fueled demand, especially given that several other major chipmakers, including TSMC and SK Hynix, have recently warned of slowing demand.

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