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Hong Kong Stocks Tumble as China Announces Further Covid Easing, Trade Data Disappoints

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This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

Hong Kong stocks saw sharp declines, leading losses in the Asia-Pacific after China announced further easing of Covid measures, a move that was widely expected. Airline stocks maintained some gains, while casinos and technology-related stocks fell into negative territory shortly after the announcement.

The nation's trade data for November came in lower than expected, according to customs data.

The Hang Seng index was 3.22% lower at 18,814.82, and the Hang Seng Tech index fell 3.77%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component was up 0.175% at 11,418.76 while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.4% to 3,199.62.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 0.72% at 27,686.40 and the Topix was 0.1% lower at 1,948.31. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.43% to 2,382.81. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.85% to 7,229.40 as the nation's economy grew by 0.6% in the third quarter.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Reserve Bank of India announced a 35 basis point rate hike to 6.25%, in line with expectations of economists polled by Reuters.

Apple, NVIDIA customers could pay more for U.S.-manufactured chips: Analyst

Customers of Apple and NVIDIA are likely to face a price hike from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's Arizona chip plant, according to a strategist.

"Subsidies will play a big role in helping bridge the gap from an economic standpoint, but there will also be price increases to customers," Abhinav Davuluri, technology equity strategist of Morningstar, tells CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" Wednesday.

"Not only is it a much smaller fab, which reduces the economics, it's also happening in a much higher-cost region," he said.

The U.S. plants will be a small fraction of TSMC's total capacity of 12 million wafers in 2020, according to a company press release.

TSMC has more than 50% of the global market share and produces the advanced chips in the latest Apple products. While TSMC does most of its manufacturing in Taiwan, U.S. and European lawmakers have questioned about supply in the event of a Chinese invasion.

- Sheila Chiang

Markets are more balanced, but still skeptical on China, UOB says

The market was too bearish on China and its currency, but is now more balanced, Peter Chia, senior FX strategist at UOB said.

"Right now you're seeing that the pendulum has shifted from a very negative [stance], to right now, I would say that it's a little bit more balanced," he told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia," adding that skepticism remains.

Moving forward, the dollar-yuan is likely to be driven by local factors in China rather than by the U.S. Federal Reserve, he said.

He added he remains cautious on the outlook for the Chinese yuan, but that markets should not underestimate the potential of the Chinese consumer.

"I think this will reverberate across the entire region," he said. "There are a lot of headwinds coming from the Western world, but if played correctly, I think China will be able to offset a lot of these headwinds."

— Abigail Ng

China lifts negative test requirement for cross-region travelers

Cross-region travelers in China will no longer need to show Covid-negative test results, according to a National Health Commission release.

Areas that are not designated as high-risk cannot halt work or production, the notice said.

Covid patients without symptoms can also choose to isolate at home for five days, it said.

– Evelyn Cheng

Hong Kong tech, travel stocks surge ahead of China's Covid presser

Hong Kong-listed Chinese technology stocks rose ahead of a government Covid press briefing.

Shares of Meituan rose more than 4% in Asia's afternoon trade, while BYD gained more than 6%. Alibaba also climbed nearly 2%, Tencent rose 1.9% and Bilibili surged 9.3%.

Travel-related stocks also rose – Cathay Pacific rose nearly 5%, Air China rose 18%, China Eastern Airlines rose 15.28% and China Southern Airlines rose 10.85%.

– Jihye Lee

China's full reopening unlikely to be seen in the next six months: Hang Seng Bank

A full reopening in China is not likely to be seen anytime soon, economist Dan Wang of Hang Seng Bank said on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

"We don't know if … the 'return to normal' can happen, actually, within the next six months," she said, citing inconsistencies in policy implementation among departments and different regions.

"For example, like Taiyuan and Xi'an, their changes in the Covid policies are still very much behind what's going on in Beijing and Shanghai," she said.

Jihye Lee

India's central bank raises rates by 35 basis points, in line with expectations

The Reserve Bank of India delivered a 35 basis point hike following its December policy meeting, bringing interest rates to 6.25%.

That follows an increase in 50 basis points in September.

Inflation eased to 6.77% in October this year on an annualized basis, down from 7.41% in September. That's still above the RBI's inflation target of 4%.

— Abigail Ng

China’s reopening is a bigger driver for oil prices than cap on Russian crude, says Singapore official

China's reopening will be a bigger driver for oil prices that the cap on Russian oil, Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan told CNBC on Tuesday.

"I would expect to see a significant opening," Balakrishnan said. "Now that has profound implications for the global economy, more so than an oil price cap."

China's medium to long-term playbook should hence focus on improving vaccination rates, Balakrishnan said.

"You can open up if you've got high vaccination rates. So I'd be watching to see what efforts China makes to ramp up vaccination in the seniors," he added.

Read the full story here.

— Charmaine Jacob

Vingroup shares rise 5% as EV unit VinFast files to go public in the U.S.

Shares of Vingroup listed in Vietnam rose more than 5% and is hovering around the highest levels it's seen in five months after its EV maker unit VinFast filed to go public in the U.S., .

VinFast, Vietnam's only domestic automaker, plans to begin delivering its electric SUVs to U.S. customers by the end of this year.

In March, the firm announced plans for a $2 billion factory in North Carolina.

– John Rosevear, Jihye Lee

China's exports and imports drop more than expected

China's dollar-denominated exports fell 8.7% in November on an annualized basis, declining more than expectations of a 3.5% drop, according to analysts in a Reuters poll.

Imports in U.S.-dollar terms also fell 10.6% for the month compared to a year ago, falling further than an expect drop of 6% in a separate Reuters survey.

The nation's trade surplus came in at $69.84 billion, lower than the forecast for $78.1 billion.

– Jihye Lee

Hong Kong home prices plummet to the lowest in almost five years, with more room to plunge

Prices of Hong Kong's residential properties fell to almost five-year low as rising interest rates and a mass exodus of expat workers drove down prices in one of the world's most expensive cities to work in — and there is more room to fall.

Hong Kong's home price index for October fell 2.4% to 352.4 compared to the previous month, marking the lowest level for the gauge since November 2017.

Additionally, according to a Natixis report, the city's property prices could plummet 25% from the previous peak in 2021, before it starts to pare losses. 

"The weak economic environment both in Hong Kong and globally, and rapidly rising borrowing costs are the most important contributors to the decline in property prices," Nelson Wong, executive director of research at real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle told CNBC.

—Lee Ying Shan

TSMC shares rise after Apple says it will use chips made in the U.S. by the Taiwan firm

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company increased by more than 1% in Asia's morning session after Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the iPhone maker will buy chips made in TSMC's Arizona factories.

TSMC announced on Tuesday stateside that it will open a second chip plant in Arizona, increasing its investment in the state from $12 billion to $40 billion.

The company's U.S.-listed shares rose 0.3% in after hours trade. Shares in Taiwan initially struggled for direction around the flatline before rising as much as 1.57%.

— Charmaine Jacob

China expected to see a further drop in exports and imports

China's trade data for November is expected to show a further drop in both exports and imports, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Average forecasts predict exports will drop 3.5% in November on an annualized basis after declining 0.3% in October, and imports are forecasted to fall 6% after slipping 0.7% the previous month.

The trade balance in U.S. dollars is predicted to narrow to $78.1 billion — smaller than the previous month's $85.15 billion.

— Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: 'A gift to investors': BlackRock says it's time to rethink bonds

It's time to rethink bonds, according to the BlackRock Investment Institute, which said "the lure of fixed income is strong" right now.

"Higher yields are a gift to investors who have long been starved for income. And investors don't have to go far up the risk spectrum to receive it," Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock, and Jean Boivin, head of the BlackRock Investment Institute, wrote in a note last week.

They outlined their top ways to cash in.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

Australia's economy saw slower growth in the third quarter

Australia's economy grew by 0.6% from the previous quarter, official data showed – missing estimates expecting a 0.7% quarterly growth predicted in a Reuters poll.

The latest gross domestic product showed subdued growth from the second quarter's expansion of 0.9% from the first three months of the year.

On an annualized basis, GDP in the third quarter added 5.9%, which the Australian Bureau of Statistics said reflects "sustained economic growth since the effects of the Delta outbreak in September quarter 2021."

"Growth was largely driven by strength in household spending," it added.

The annualized figure also missed expectations in a separate Reuters poll for a 6.2% gain.

Australia's dollar was little changed after the report and the S&P/ASX 200 maintained 0.7% lower.

— Abigail Ng

CNBC Pro: UBS says shares in this global airline are set to soar by 55%

Shares of a global airline are set to soar by 55% over the next year, according to UBS.

The investment bank raised its price target after the pan-European airline said it expects to see bumper demand during Christmas.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Stocks finish lower, build on Monday's losses

Stocks tumbled Tuesday, building on losses from the previous session.

The S&P 500 shed 1.44% to close at 3,941.26, while the Nasdaq Composite sank 2% to finish at 11,014.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 350.76 points, or 1.03%, to settle at 33,596.34.

— Samantha Subin

Oil falls to lowest level since Dec. 27, 2021

Oil prices slumped Tuesday, weighed down by economic uncertainty even amid a Russian oil price cap and potential demand uptick thanks to China's reopening.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell more than 4% to $73.85 in the afternoon Tuesday. Brent crude for February delivery slipped 4.34% to $79.09 per barrel.

The U.S. also said it sees oil production increasing next year, reversing its future outlook after five months of cuts. A monthly report from the Energy Information Administration said production is forecast to hit 12.34 million barrels a day in 2023, more than the daily record of 12.315 million barrels a day in 2019.

—Carmen Reinicke

Inflation is eroding consumer wealth and may bring 2023 recession, Dimon says

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Dimon said in June that he was preparing the bank for an economic "hurricane" caused by the Federal Reserve and Russia's war in Ukraine.

American consumers are still doing well and supporting the U.S. economy, but that may change next year, according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

Consumers have $1.5 trillion in excess savings from pandemic stimulus programs and are spending 10% more than in 2021, he said Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"Inflation is eroding everything I just said, and that trillion and a half dollars will run out sometime mid-year next year," Dimon said. "When you're looking out forward, those things may very well derail the economy and cause a mild or hard recession that people worry about."

Dimon also opined on cryptocurrencies, the necessity of fossil fuels and other topics during the wide-ranging interview.

— Hugh Son

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