Asia-Pacific stocks generally down, Tokyo inflation at 40-year high; US markets closed

Hong Kong movers: Casinos and tech stocks tumble on rising caseload in China

Hong Kong-listed shares linked to reopening and technology fell in the morning session in Asia following reports of a rise in Covid cases in China.

Casino Operator Actions MGM China fell by more than 4%, Wynn Macau lose 2.5%, Sands China fell 3%, and SJM Holdings also lost 2.7%.

Technology stocks such as Tencent also fell more than 3% in the morning session, Meituan lost 3.17% and bilibili lose 4.36%.

– Jihye Lee

Core inflation in Tokyo hits 40-year high

Tokyo’s core consumer price index rose 3.6% in November on an annualized basis, more than the 3.5% expected in a Reuters poll.

The report marks the fastest annual pace the Japanese capital has seen since April 1982, and well above the Bank of Japan’s 2% inflation target.

The reading from the capital indicates that higher inflationary pressures have yet to be contained. National inflation is hovering around similar historical levels.

—Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Outperforming asset manager picks stocks that should gain as margins tighten

Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer at Plurimi Wealth, believes that margin squeeze is the “biggest risk” for stocks. But he thinks some stocks could beat the trend.

“Own sectors with defensible margins or that create margin compression elsewhere,” he added, naming his favorite sectors and stocks.

Pro subscribers can learn more here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: UBS says recession in 2023 will be an inch deep but a mile wide — and that’s not factored into stocks

Global economic conditions will change next year and that will change which markets and sectors are underperforming, according to UBS Investment Bank’s chief strategist.

“It’s an inch deep but it’s a mile wide,” he said of the expected recession. “Global growth is 2% and that’s not factored into stocks,” Bhanu Baweja told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Wednesday.

He also named the sectors he expects to outperform next year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

Jenny Reid

Malaysian stocks rose after the state palace announced the prime minister

Shares listed in Malaysia closed higher on Thursday after the state palace announced Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s prime minister.

The reference KLCI index closed up 4.04% on previous negative sessions, ending the session at the highest levels in over two months.

The telecommunications group Axiata Group Bhd rose by more than 12% and Maxis Bhd by 11%. Genting Malaysia climbed around 8% and rubber glove maker Top Glove also gained 8% in the afternoon session.

The Malaysian ringgit strengthened slightly against the US dollar and last settled at 4.5080.

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