Asian markets up, except Nikkei; assessing corporate earnings

Wednesday saw a predominantly positive trend in Asia-Pacific stocks as investors deliberated over corporate earnings and China’s measures to fortify its market.

DBS Group, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, announced a 2% year-over-year rise in fourth-quarter net profit, reaching $2.39 billion, while maintaining its full-year net interest income forecast for 2024. This report prompted a 2% surge in the bank’s shares.

On the other hand, China’s leading chipmaker, SMIC, cautioned on Wednesday that persistent global macroeconomic challenges and geopolitical tensions might impact its business in 2024.

This warning came just a day after the company revealed a significant 54.7% decline in fourth-quarter profit. Consequently, SMIC’s shares experienced a downturn of nearly 5% in Hong Kong trading.

Shares of electric vehicles in Hong Kong experienced an uptick following the release of a document by China’s commerce ministry, which delineated its strategy for the “healthy development of new energy vehicles” within the nation.

The South Korean Kospi saw a notable surge of 0.95%, marking significant gains across Asia, while the Kosdaq also experienced an increase of 0.48%.

CSI 300 index saw a rise of 0.42%

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 experienced a modest increase of 0.45% on the trading charts, concluding the session at 7,615.8 points. This uptick followed a pivotal decision by the country’s central bank to maintain interest rates at 4.35%.

Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong underwent a reversal of fortunes, relinquishing earlier gains to register a decline of 0.34%.

In contrast, across the border in mainland China, the CSI 300 index saw a rise of 0.42%, marking a positive turn in trading sentiment.

Over in Japan, the Nikkei 225 index witnessed a slight dip of approximately 0.18%, while the broader Topix index recorded a modest increase of 0.33%.

This mixed performance reflects the nuanced dynamics shaping the regional markets, influenced by both domestic and international factors.

In the United States, the stock market experienced upward movement across all three major indexes following the release of a new set of quarterly earnings.

The S&P 500, a key indicator of the market’s overall performance, saw an increase of 0.23%. Similarly, the Nasdaq Composite showed a slight uptick of 0.07%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 0.37%.

These gains reflect a positive sentiment among investors in response to the earnings reports.

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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