Asia-Pacific shares trade mostly flat ahead of US inflation report

Crypto trading high despite Coinbase announcing layoffs

Cryptocurrencies inches higher after crypto company coinbase Announced plans to lay off 20% of its staff in order to preserve cash during the downturn in the crypto market.

Bitcoin Last traded up 1.55% at $17,459.63 according to Coin Metrics. Ether rose 1% to $1,337.85.

Other digital coins such as Kronos and Cardano advanced as well.

CEO Brian Armstrong said there was “no way” to reduce expenses and increase the chances of “doing well in every scenario” without reducing headcount.

-Li Ying Shan, Kate Rooney

Finance secretary says Philippines will return to bottom 2% by 2024

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diocono said inflation in the Philippines is expected to return to the government’s target range in two years.

Diokno said he believes average inflation for 2023 will be between 2.5% and 4.5% before easing to 2% to 4% by next year, he told CNBC on the sidelines of the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong.

Headline inflation in the Philippines still remains high, rising to 8.1% in December 2022 from 8% the month before, according to government data.

Banco Central ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla announced on Monday that interest rates would be raised by another 25 to 50 basis points in February. Diokno said he expects the central bank to pivot sometime this year.

“There is also the possibility that we will cut at some point this year because we may be overshooting,” he added.

-Sharmaine Jacob

Australia’s consumer prices rose 7.3% in November on higher housing and food prices

The Australia Consumer Price Index rose 7.3% year-on-year in November, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a sign that inflationary pressures have not yet eased.

The figure was in line with Reuters expectations, and higher than the previous month’s reading of 6.9%.

Housing, food and transportation were among the top components driving the growth, the release said.

Separately, Australia reported a 1.4% increase for November compared to the month earlier, buoyed by Black Friday sales.

-Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: This global ETF is the only fund that has turned a profit every year for the past decade

The only stock ETF to deliver positive returns every year over the past decade has been revealed by CNBC Pro.

It is the only fund among nearly 7,000 equity ETFs screened worldwide by CNBC Pro that does not have a year of negative returns between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2022.

According to data from Coffin, it has offered investors a 14% compound annual growth rate over the same period, which is much higher than the broad index tracking fund.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

Ganesh Rao

The unemployment rate in South Korea has reached an 11-month high

South Korea’s unemployment rate climbed to 3.3% in December, the highest in 11 months, government data showed.

The reading is higher than November’s figure of 2.9%

Despite the high unemployment figure, the total number of people employed in 2022 is expected to rise by 816,000 from a year earlier to 28.089 million.

– Lee Ying Shan, Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: ‘A costly mistake: Stop hoarding, says City — and reveals two areas to invest

Investors faced a tough time in 2022 as stocks and bonds plunged amid broader market turmoil.

While many took refuge in the relative safety of cash, Citi says now is the time to put it to work and suggests two ways to deploy it for higher returns.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

Xavier Ong

Fed must remain politically independent while tackling inflation, says Powell

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday stressed the need for the central bank to be free of political influence while it tackles persistently high inflation.

In a speech to Sweden’s Riksbank, Powell said that stabilizing prices required tough decisions that could be politically unpopular.

‚ÄúPrice stability is the basis of a healthy economy and provides immeasurable benefits to the public over time. But when inflation is high, restoring price stability requires measures that are not popular in the short run because we Raise interest rates to slow the economy.” the chair said in prepared remarks.

“The absence of direct political control over our decisions allows us to take these necessary measures without considering short-term political factors,” he added.

Jeff Cox

Copper is at the highest price since June

copper At a high not seen since June.

The metal settled at $4.0775, down 1.3%. It posted a high of $4.0835, which was its most expensive since hitting $4.1160 on June 17.

Copper has gained about 7% since the start of 2023.

– Gina Francola, Alex Haring

Coinbase will lay off 20% of its employees

Coinbase stock rose 6% after the crypto exchange operator announced plans to lay off 20% of its staff in an effort to reduce costs.

The layoffs will affect 950 jobs and mark the second round of cuts from the company in recent months. Coinbase laid off 18% of its staff in June to prepare for a possible recession and crypto winter, saying it had grown “too quickly” during the bull market.

Crypto markets have come under pressure following the collapse of FTX, one of the largest operators in the industry.

According to a new regulatory filing, Coinbase said that the new round of layoffs will reduce its operating expenses by 25% for the quarter ending in March.

– Kate Rooney, Samantha Subin

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