Asia markets set to bounce at the start of the week, ahead of China benchmark lending rate release

Asia markets set to bounce at the start of the week, ahead of China benchmark lending rate release

This is CNBC’s live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

Asia-Pacific markets were mostly set to eke out gains on Monday after most major bourses ended lower in the previous session, while investors watched for changes to China’s benchmark lending rates.

The People’s Bank of China’s one-year loan prime rate — the peg for most household and corporate loans in China — is currently at 3.45%. The five-year benchmark loan rate — the peg for most mortgages — stands at 4.2%,

Hong Kong stocks led declines in Asia-Pacific on Friday, as shares of Alibaba plunged after the Chinese e-commerce giant said it would not proceed with the full spinoff of its cloud group.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 17,728, pointing to a higher open compared to the HSI’s close of 17,454.19.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was also set to open slightly lower, with the futures contract in Chicago at 33,500 and its counterpart in Osaka at 33,490 against the index’s last close of 33,585.20.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.11% higher.

On Friday, the S&P 500 ended higher and clinched a third straight winning week amid a red-hot November rally.

The broader index added 0.13%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day higher by 0.01%, while the Nasdaq Composite crept up by 0.08%.

The main U.S. indexes clocked their third straight positive week. The S&P 500 added 2.2%, while the Nasdaq jumped about 2.4%. The Dow closed the week with a 1.9% advance. This is the first three-week win streak for the Dow and S&P 500 since July, and the first since June for the Nasdaq.

— CNBC’s Lisa Kailai Han and Brian Evans contributed to this report

Oil bounces back 4% after selloff

Oil prices bounced back Friday after a selloff pushed U.S. crude into a bear market earlier in the week.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for December rose by $2.99, or 4.10%, to settle $75.89 a barrel, while the Brent contract for January jumped $3.19, or 4.12% to to settle $80.61 a barrel.

The rebound came after oil sold off sharply on Thursday, with U.S. crude falling into a bear market down 22% from a recent September high.

Leo Mariani, senior research analyst at Roth MKM, described Friday’s rebound as a “dead cat bounce post speculator liquidation.”

— Spencer Kimball

Mention of ‘inflation’ during earnings calls hits lowest in more than 2 years

Company executives are growing less concerned about inflation, if earnings commentary is used a guide.

With third-quarter earnings season nearly complete, some 276 of the SP 500 companies reporting so far cited “inflation” as a significant factor during analyst calls, according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet.

That’s the lowest number going back to the second quarter of 2021, before inflation spiked to its highest point since the early 1980s. Butters noted that financials and industrials are the sectors that most often discussed the subject.

—Jeff Cox

A record amount of options is set to expire today, which could inject volatility into the market

A record amount of options is set to expire today, which could bring some volatility to Friday’s trading session.

Goldman Sachs analyst John Marshall estimated that $2.2 trillion of notional options exposure will expire on Friday. This includes $440 billion notional of single stock options.

“While today’s monthly options expiration will be the largest November expiration on record, it will be significantly smaller than typical quarterly expirations over the past few years,” the analyst wrote. “Consistent with the past few quarters, there is unusually large open interest expiring around the 4000, 4500 and 5000 strikes in the SPX.”

— Lisa Kailai Han

Stocks rallied on softer inflation data despite enduring consumer risks, Wells Fargo says

Stocks rallied this week, propelled by softer-than-expected inflation data and a pause in global tension escalation, according to Wells Fargo.

All 11 sectors in the S&P 500 rallied besides energy, which was weighed down by sliding crude prices.

“The ‘don’t fight the Fed’ mantra and the (likely) sustainable, productivity-driven margin improvements we saw in Q3 are two of the more potent bullish signs for 2024, in our view,” wrote analyst Christopher Harvey. “While we continue to favor uber-caps in the near term, we recognize that with the index up 31% YTD (SPX: +17%) some profit-taking/de-grossing should be expected.”

— Lisa Kailai Han

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