Hong Kong stocks rise around 3% after reports say city plans to ease Covid rule

Hong Kong stocks rise around 3% after reports say city plans to ease Covid rule

China’s National Health Commission issues guidelines for treating Covid at home

Chinese health authorities announced guidelines on Thursday to treat Covid patients at home, a day after formalizing a policy that allows most infected patients to quarantine at home, as part of the easing measures in the country.

The notice on the National Health Commission website says patients should isolate themselves in a separate room if possible and self-administer antigen tests.

While noting that patients with acute symptoms should go to the hospital, the announcement included instructions for patients with milder symptoms to monitor their health at home and take medication as needed.

The commission included a list of drugs used to treat Covid symptoms.

Health authorities are to hold a press briefing at 3 p.m. local time.

— Abigail Ng, Evelyn Cheng

Hong Kong plans to scrap outdoor mask rules: report

Fitch expects house prices in Australia and China to fall in 2023

Fitch Ratings expects house prices in Australia to fall significantly by 7% to 10% next year, it said in its latest outlook report.

The agency also predicts that house prices in China will fall by 1% to 3% next year.

“We expect prices to continue to decline in 2023 before bottoming out, but mortgage performance will deteriorate only slightly in the face of economic headwinds,” Fitch Ratings’ Tracy Wan said in the report.

However, house prices in Japan could reverse the upward trend by 2% to 4% in 2023, according to the report. Australian prices are expected to rise in 2024.

– Jihye Lee

Japan’s economy contracted less than expected in the third quarter

Japan’s economy experienced an annualized quarterly contraction of 0.8% in the third quarter, with the revised reading of gross domestic product beating expectations from a Reuters survey for a contraction of 1.1%.

The government’s first preliminary estimate released in November pointed to a decline of 1.2%.

The country also reported a 64.1 billion yen ($469.3 million) deficit in its unadjusted current account, according to government data. The reading significantly missed estimates of a 623.4 billion yen surplus in a separate Reuters poll.

– Jihye Lee

Australia’s trade surplus bigger than expected in October

Australia’s trade surplus for October came to A$12.2 billion ($8.19 billion), slightly higher than expected, official data showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a print of A$12.1 billion, expecting a further decline than reported – after the economy recorded a trade surplus of A$12.4 billion.

Exports decreased by 0.9% and imports decreased by 0.7%.

—Abigail from

Stocks usually close lower

Stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 slipping 0.19% to close at 3,933.92.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat, 1.58 points higher, to end the session at 33,597.92. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.51% to end at 10,958.55.

— Samantha Subin

CNBC Pro: Bank of America says these two global chip stocks could rise 75% on electric car sales

A shortage of semiconductors during a boom in electric vehicle sales could help boost profits for a handful of chipmakers, according to Bank of America.

The Wall Street bank predicted that two chip stocks could see their stock prices rise by more than 75% thanks to this trend.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

—Ganesh Rao

Pending economic data could start a rally next year, Morgan Stanley’s Slimmon says

Don’t be surprised if economic data released next week triggers a rally through the end of the year and potentially 2023, according to Andrew Slimmon, senior portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

The key data release period begins Friday with the Producer Price Index, followed by November’s Consumer Price Index and another likely Federal Reserve rate hike next week.

“The last time these were released they all led to rallies in the stock market because we had better inflation data,” he said.

Like many investors, Slimmon expects a downturn to come, given the inverted yield curve, but doesn’t anticipate the “big earnings slump,” or downturn, many people are predicting in the first quarter.

This is partly because many consumers have boosted their savings in recent years given the proximity of the last recession.

“The message this year is that the economy has proven to be much more resilient than a lot of people expect and I don’t think the next quarter will be the end of that,” he said.

— Samantha Subin

CNBC Pro: Is Apple a stock to buy or avoid? Two investors face off

It’s been a tumultuous year for tech companies as investors flee growth stocks amid rising interest rates and other headwinds.

Apple held up better amid the tech carnage, although there were some headwinds.

On Wednesday, two investors squared off on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” to argue for and against buying the stock.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

—Weizhen Tan

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