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    South Korea inflation, China reopening

    Week ahead: PMIs in Asia-Pacific, trade data, inflation readings

    Key economic events in the Asia-Pacific next week will be dominated by Purchasing Managers’ Index readings in the region.

    China’s National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release the official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI prints on Saturday. Reuters expects China’s factory activity to show a contraction with a reading of 48.

    South Korea is also slated to report its December trade data over the weekend, in which economists polled by Reuters predict will show a drop of 10.1% compared with a year ago.

    Singapore is scheduled to release manufacturing PMI readings next week, while S&P Global is scheduled to release its PMI readings for South Korea, Indonesia and India on Monday.

    Inflation prints for the Philippines and Indonesia will also be closely watched, with the releases scheduled for Tuesday and Monday, respectively.

    Japan’s PMI reading and China’s private survey for services PMI will be released on Wednesday. Singapore will release November’s retail sales on Thursday as well as South Korea’s unemployment rate for December.

    – Jihye Lee

    Yamaguchi emerging as candidate for next Bank of Japan governor: Sankei

    Former Bank of Japan deputy governor Hirohide Yamaguchi is emerging as a candidate to lead the central bank, Japanese local media Sankei reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Yamaguchi, who held the deputy position at the central bank until 2013, has been a vocal critic of the current governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s ultra-dovish monetary policy.

    The newspaper added that Yamaguchi would indicate a shift away from former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic stimulus strategy also known as “Abenomics.”

    Sankei reported Yamaguchi is garnering attention as current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida moves away from the stimulus-oriented monetary stance, and that the appointment for the next central bank head would become clear next month.

    – Jihye Lee

    Foreign talent to be less inclined to come to Singapore after Hong Kong’s reopening, says UOB

    With Hong Kong’s reopening, foreign nationals may be less inclined to move to Singapore, said Alvin Liew, senior economist at United Overseas Bank.

    “Singapore has benefited in terms of the talent pool that came here due to the more stringent rules in Hong Kong itself,” Liew said, adding that the influx of workforce moving to Singapore “may see some easing” now that the city has reopened.

    “Talent pool itself may be less inclined to move here,” the Singapore-based economist said.

    Liew also added Hong Kong’s reopening is a step in the right direction for the region to “return back to business as usual,” Liew said.

    China’s markets to see a “tactical” recovery next year, says analyst

    Chinese markets will likely see a “tactical bounce” of a recovery in the coming year, Port Shelter Investment Management said.

    “It’s only obvious to say that we’re likely to see a tactical bounce,” Richard Harris, chief executive of the firm told CNBC.

    “It will be tactical, because China, at the end of the day, has to fit in with the rest of the world,” he said.

    Harris expects China’s recovery to take place in the first quarter of the year, and carry on the sentiments into the second quarter as well.

    This recovery also hinges on many currently unknown elements, such as whether heavy stimulation will be injected into the Chinese economy, and what will be done about inflation when the economy picks up, he added.

    —Lee Ying Shan

    New China tech ETF can ‘bring retail liquidity’ to Singapore market: Investment firm

    Asset management firm explains how its SGX ETF listing would differ from its other China index funds

    The Singapore-listed CSI Star and ChiNext 50 Index Exchange Traded Fund can bring liquidity from mainland China to Singapore, Ding Chen, CEO of CSOP Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

    The firm’s ETF was listed on the Singapore Exchange on Friday and is a sub-fund of the CSOP SG ETF Series I, a Singapore unit trust, according to the fund’s page.

    “Through SGX, Singapore investors and global investors can also get access to China-listed ETFs,” said Ding, adding that China investors can also directly invest in Singapore ETFs.

    When asked about the evolution of the firm’s ETF portfolio, Ding said that it will “bring more emerging, younger generation of tech companies” on the market.

    – Sheila Chiang

    South Korea’s inflation unchanged in December

    South Korea’s December consumer price index rose 5% on an annualized basis, statistics from the Bank of Korea showed.

    The reading maintained cooler levels for the month and remained unchanged from November.

    The print is in line with economists’ expectations polled by Reuters.

    – Jihye Lee

    Stocks close higher Thursday

    All of the major averages ended higher on Thursday.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 345.09 points, or 1.05%. The S&P 500 gained 1.75% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.59% to 10,478.09.

    — Tanaya Macheel

    CNBC Pro: Chip stocks did badly this year — but this fund manager is still bullish, naming 2 to buy

    Jobless filings rose last week; continuing claims hit highest since February

    Jobless claims increased last week amid Federal Reserve efforts to cool the economy and in particular the labor market.

    First-time filings for unemployment benefits totaled 225,000 for the week ended Dec. 24, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was an increase of 9,000 from the previous week and slightly above the 223,000 estimate from Dow Jones.

    Longer-term, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, jumped to 1.71 million, an increase of 41,000 to the highest level since early February.

    The numbers this time of year are always noisy due to the holidays. Claims not adjusted for seasonal factors surged by 23,146, a 9.3% increase.

    —Jeff Cox

    CNBC Pro: Citi names its top biotech stock picks for 2023 — and gives one 73% upside

    Biotech is set to remain a “stock-pickers market” in 2023, according to Citi.

    The bank explains how biotech could perform based on various economic scenarios, and names three top picks for 2023.

    CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

    — Weizhen Tan



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