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Asia-Pacific markets open flat as investors await New Zealand rate decision

·2 mins

Asia-Pacific stock markets opened flat Wednesday as investors awaited key U.S. inflation and China data later this week. China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index reading and U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index are due Thursday. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to hold its official cash rate at 5.50% later in the day. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index fell about 0.2% each. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and the broader Topix opened flat. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.1%, while the smaller-cap Kosdaq added 1.3%. Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index pointed to a higher open compared to the previous close. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended Tuesday with small gains as investors awaited key inflation data to be released later this week.

Bitcoin prices have rebounded since 2023, recovering from steep declines in the couple of years before. Prices of the cryptocurrency are still rallying. Two weeks ago, it regained its $1 trillion market cap as it hit an over two-year high. On Tuesday, bitcoin prices reached a two-year high of over $56,000. Ark Invest shares its insights on how much of investors’ portfolios should be allocated to bitcoin, and what’s the minimum amount of time they should hold the asset for.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended Tuesday’s trading session in the green, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped. One Big Tech stock has plummeted over 65% since its all-time high despite growing revenue and earnings. A top fund manager believes the stock is now at an “absolutely compelling” valuation for investors.

Citi’s Scott Chronert disagrees with comparisons between the current market rally and the great Tech Bubble. “Current multiples are well below ‘99-‘00 levels. Further, our subjective view is that the fundamental circumstance is meaningfully different now vs then,” he wrote. Chronert cautioned that stock fundamentals still have to support the rally in order to sustain his S&P 500 year-end target. Apple is canceling plans to build an electric car and is instead leaning into generative artificial intelligence, according to a report. Apple scaled back its vision for the EV project last month and moved the initial launch date back. Some employees devoted to Apple’s EV project will now work on generative AI. Apple stock gained following the news.