Yen Strengthens on Reports of New Bank of Japan Governor; Asia Markets Fall: Live Updates

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

Asia-Pacific markets traded mostly lower with the exception of Japan as the yen pushed higher against both the euro and U.S. dollar on Friday.



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This follows a Nikkei report which said Kazuo Ueda would be appointed as the Bank of Japan's next governor. The yen strengthened 0.77% against the U.S. dollar, and last stood at 130.64.

The Nikkei 225 rose 0.31% to close at 27,670.98, while the Topix gained 0.1% to end the day at 1,986.96.

In South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.48% to 2,469.73 and the Kosdaq also inched 1.55% lower to close at 772.44.

China's inflation data came in lower than expected. Consumer prices in the nation rose 2.1% in January compared to a year ago.

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.3% and the Shenzhen Component shed 0.6%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also shed 2%, leading losses in the region with the Hang Seng Tech index down 4.5%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.76% at 7,433.7 as investors digested the Reserve Bank of Australia's statement on monetary policy indicating further hikes ahead. Earlier this week, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.25%.

In corporate earnings, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC, will release its monthly sales report later in the day.

Overnight in the U.S., stocks closed lower Thursday. All three major indexes hit session lows in the final hour of trading — after giving up earlier gains as concerns over the Federal Reserve's future moves on monetary policy offset excitement around the latest batch of corporate earnings.

— CNBC's Alex Harring, Tanaya Macheel and Matt Clinch contributed to this report.

Chinese consumer confidence for big-ticket items hasn't picked up yet: BofA

Chinese consumer confidence for big-ticket items still hasn't rebounded, said Helen Qiao, China and Asia economist at Bank of America Global Research.

"What we're seeing in the consumption rebound is actually extremely notable in the small ticket area —which means if you are looking at the hot pot restaurant or a milk tea shops, their business is probably red hot," Qiao told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

But confidence for big-ticket items like cars and housing hasn't picked up yet, she added.

"People are concerned about … potential Covid comebacks and are worried about their income growth not coming back as strongly as before," said Qiao. 

 — Sumathi Bala

No Adani stocks removed from MSCI Global Index despite weightings cut

No Adani stocks have been removed from the MSCI Global Standards Index, the index provider's quarterly review showed.

This is despite MSCI announcing to cut the weightings of four of the conglomerate's company securities: Adani Enterprises, Adani Transmission and Adani Total Gas, as well as Indian cement company ACC, which the Adani Group acquired last year.

Adani Enterprises traded 0.93% up in Mumbai's trading session. Adani Port gained 2% – while Adani Green, Adani power, Adani Transmission and Adani Total all fell 5%.

Adani Wilmar also rose roughly 3%.

– Lim Hui Jie

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Bank of America has a rare 216% upside price target on the stock. Even the consensus price target points toward a 143% share price gain over the next 12 months.

Analysts say the company's high brand recognition means its marketing costs will fall helping to boost profitability in the near future.

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— Ganesh Rao

Consumer prices in China rise 2.1% compared to a year ago

China's consumer prices rose 2.1% in January compared to a year ago, marking the fastest pace in three months, government data showed.

The reading comes in lower than estimates forecasted by economists in a Reuters poll that had expected to see a 2.2% rise in prices.

On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.8% in January, a higher rate than expectations.

Prices are seen to have picked up alongside resumed consumer activity with China's reopening after more than two years of Covid-zero policy.

– Jihye Lee

Australia's central bank says inflation remains high, hints further rate hikes

Australia's central bank on Friday said inflation remains high and hinted at further interest rates hikes.

This comes after the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by 25 basis points on Tuesday, bringing its cash rate to a 10-year high of 3.35%.

In its quarterly monetary statement, RBA observed global inflation is still very high but "looks to have peaked."

Still, the easing in global goods price pressures hasn't shown in domestic retail prices, RBA said, noting that inflation for consumer durables, services and rents picked up in the December quarter.

"The Board expects that further increases in interest rates will be needed to ensure that the current period of high inflation is only temporary," said RBA.

The central bank's forecast is for CPI to decline to 4.75% over 2023 and to around 3% by mid-2025.

— Lim Hui Jie

Japan's wholesale inflation for Jan at 9.5%

Japan's wholesale prices rose 9.5% in January from the previous year, slightly lower than the revised figure of 10.5% recorded in December 2022.

The increase in the corporate goods price index (CGPI) was also lower than Reuters estimates, which forecasted a 9.6% gain.

The CGPI measures the price companies charge each other for their goods and services.

— Lim Hui Jie

K-pop stocks rally at open

Shares tied to the K-pop industry popped at open, following Hybe's announcement to acquire shares of SM Entertainment.

SM Entertainment jumped more than 16%, Hybe rose 6% in Seoul's first hour of trade. JYP Entertainment rose 2.5% and YG Entertainment also rose 3.8% at the open.

– Jihye Lee

K-pop agency Hybe acquires stake in SM Entertainment making it largest shareholder

Hybe, the K-pop agency behind boy band BTS, announced in a filing to acquire 3.5 million shares of rival SM Entertainment worth 422.8 billion won ($334.2 million).

The filing said Hybe acquired the shares held by SM's founder Lee Soo-man – to hold a 14.8% stake in the company, making Hybe the largest shareholder of SM Entertainment.

Hybe said the deal is targeted at "raising [Hybe's] competitiveness in the K-pop industry."

– Jihye Lee

Bank of Japan nominations expected Feb. 14: Kyodo

The Japanese government is looking to present nominations for the next Bank of Japan's governor on Feb. 14, Kyodo reported, citing government sources.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is expected to discuss the timeline of the nomination with the opposition party later on Friday, the report said.

The move is seen to be a delayed process following previous reports the nomination may be announced as early as today.

– Jihye Lee

Stocks notch session lows with less than an hour left of trading

The sell-off intensified with less than an hour left in the trading day.

All three indexes reached session lows. The Dow was down more than 250 points, or 0.8%, while the S&P 500 traded just under 1% down. The Nasdaq Composite, the worst performer of the three, was more than 1.1% down at its new low.

— Alex Harring

Wynn and MGM results show Vegas is starting to sizzle, analysts say

Fourth-quarter results for both Wynn Resorts and MGM Resort International show that Las Vegas is heating up, according to Wall Street analysts.

Both casino operators reported revenue that beat expectations, with Wynn's $1 billion coming above Refinitiv's estimate of $958 million and MGM's $3.59 billion topping estimates of $3.35 billion.

Several analysts cheered the results, with Jeffries titling its report on Wynn's earnings, "Las Vegas Is Starting to Sizzle."

"The strength in Las Vegas coupled with the early stage recovery in Macau are supportive of the strong momentum of late. The commentary supports further positive progression in estimates for both markets, which we believe should drive a positive reaction in the shares," analyst David Katz wrote in a note Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank hiked its price target on Wynn to $128 per share from $106, as well as its price target on MGM to $53 from $49 per share.

"We believe the 2023 outlook for Las Vegas remains solid, with near-term strength evident in bookings. We see the return of capital story as compelling and differentiated, with the equity value creation from Macau accelerating," analyst Carlo Santarelli said in a note Thursday.

Shares of Wynn were up more than 6%, while MGM rose nearly 8%.

— Michelle Fox

Toyota Motor shares up more than 1% after earnings announcement

Toyota shares were up more than 1% on Thursday after the company's third-quarter earnings, revenue, and operating profit beat analyst expectations.

The Japanese automaker announced earnings of 53.40 yen, topping the consensus estimate of 49.55 yen from analysts polled by FactSet. The company's posted 9.755 trillion yen in revenue versus the 9.257 trillion yen anticipated by analysts.

Operating income in the third quarter jumped 22% year-on-year, coming in at ¥956.65 billion.

Meanwhile, Toyota's net profit fell to 745 million yen, from the 819 million yen reported in the same period in the previous year.

Toyota said that a weak Japanese Yen and higher sales volume offset rising prices of materials.

— Hakyung Kim

Jobless claims rose last week more than expected

First-time filings for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week but held at comparatively low levels.

Jobless claims for the week ended Feb. 4 totaled 196,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous period and above the Dow Jones estimate for 190,000. It was the fourth week in a row that claims were under 200,000 after the most recent peak of 241,000 in mid-November.

Continuing claims also rose, up 38,000 to 1.688 million, a number that has trended higher since the beginning of the year.

Markets showed little initial reaction to the claims data.

—Jeff Cox

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