Reserve Bank of New Zealand Hikes Rate; Chinese Food Giant Meituan Rebounds and Tencent Ends Flat

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This has been CNBC's live blog covering updates on Asia-Pacific markets.

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New Zealand raised its cash rate by another 50 basis points to 3%, the latest in a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to curb inflation.

Elsewhere, Japan stocks surged following better-than-expected export figures and Australian wages rose.

The Shanghai Composite closed higher by 0.45% at 3,292.53 and the Shenzhen Component also finished positive by 1.01% at 12,595.46. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was 0.46% higher.

Chinese food delivery giant Meituan shares have risen 3.34%. The move marks a rebound from the 9% plunge Tuesday, which followed a report that Tencent is planning to sell the majority of its $24 billion stake in the company.

Ahead of its second quarter earnings release, Tencent shares were flat.

Japan's Nikkei 225 increased 1.23% to 28,868.91 while the Topix index added 1.26% to 1,981.96 after the country reported better-than-expected exports growth for July compared with a year ago. Its exports growth of 19% beat the 18.2% expected by analysts in a Refinitiv poll, driven by a strong recovery in car exports.

In South Korea, the Kospi reversed after a positive start, falling 0.67% likely due to some profit taking among the major stocks. Among the big losses at market close were Hyundai Motor at 3.8%, Kia at 4.02% and Seah Steel Holdings at 2.75%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia also moved up 0.31% to close at 7,105.4. The biggest winners were bank stocks, coal producer Whitehaven Coal and media corporation Seven West Media.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were 0.43% higher.

ETFs are good way to capitalize on Japanese market upcycle

The best way for retail investors to get exposure to the Japanese market and its "upcycle" is through exchange traded funds (ETFs), while the machinery and capital goods sectors offer good value, Monex Group director Jesper Koll said.

The Japanese economy is currently in a better shape that many other economies in the Group of Seven.

"That gives you exposure to the market in general, there's lots of liquidity, it's easy to trade in your account," Koll told "Street Signs Asia."

"For a retail investor, I think a broad exposure to the Topix or even the Nikkei 225 index is perfectly fine."

To do that, retail investors should consider opening a brokerage account with Japanese brokers such as Nomura or Monex Group, he said.

The best value stocks are in the Japanese capital goods and machinery sectors, Koll added, naming companies like Keyence as stocks to keep an eye on.

"Keyence is world leader in providing factory automation. As you know there is a lot of discussion about a need to restructure global supply chains. As new factories and logistics are being built, Keyence is going to be a key beneficiary from the restructuring of supply chains," Koll said.

Daikin too, would be a good stock to invest in, given that it would benefit from clean energy plans globally.

— Su-Lin Tan

Portfolio manager sees opportunity in Chinese tech companies eroding U.S. and European market share in China

While there has been a deceleration in the Chinese economy, PineBridge Investments global head of equities and portfolio manager Anik Sen says there are domestic tech companies worth investing in.

"I think China's tech also is still climbing the value chain, there are some really strong companies in the semiconductor space, which are what we call localization plays or localization, you know, companies that are essentially replacing foreign companies that have so far dominated the supply, whether it is in the industrial space, or even in the health care space," Sen told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia."

"So technology, I think, is pervasive [in China]. And there are some really strong companies that are very rapidly climbing that that food chain, if you will, and replacing, particularly some of the U.S. and European countries, and so far enjoyed dominant market share in China."

— Su-Lin Tan

Tencent earnings expected Wednesday evening

In Chinese tech, all eyes are on internet giant Tencent ahead of its second-quarter earnings report slated for release Wednesday evening. The company's earnings call is scheduled for 8 p.m. Hong Kong time.

Shares are trading at three-year lows, edging slightly lower in Wednesday trade in Hong Kong following a report that Tencent is planning to sell the majority of its $24 billion stake in Chinese food delivery giant Meituan.

Word on the street is that Tencent may post its first year-on-year revenue decline on record this evening amid a Covid-induced slowdown in the Chinese economy.

— Su-Lin Tan

Professor says U.S.-China tensions need to ease for Biden to tackle inflation

In order to tame ongoing inflationary pressures, the U.S. "needs to ratchet down the hostility" with China, Columbia University economics professor Jeffrey Sachs told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia."

He said the Biden administration should not have continued Trump-era tariffs on China, adding that intensified hostilities with Beijing "doesn't help the inflation side."

The professor called the Inflation Reduction Act that Biden signed "a typical title of a piece of legislation that has nothing to do with inflation for the next few years." Sachs said inflation will likely remain high for the next couple of years.

—Jihye Lee

Goldman Sachs says RBNZ could slow pace of rate hikes

Ahead of the latest Reserve Bank of New Zealand decision, Goldman Sachs' chief economist for Australia and New Zealand Andrew Boak told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" the RBNZ could soon allow more "wriggle room" or breathing space for future moves.

"I think they will step down the pace of tightening in the final couple of meetings after today's 50 basis point hike," Boak said.

More tightening is also on track for New Zealand's neighbor, Australia which has the tightest job market since 1974. 

"The big picture for Australia — domestic conditions warrants more tightening. We have a fully employed market and a massive inflation overshoot on the Reserve Bank of Australia's own forecast, inflation just gets back to the very top of the 2% to 3%, not next year, but the second half of 2024," Boak said.

— Su-Lin Tan

Australian wage growth hits 2.6%

Australia's annual wage growth rose for a third consecutive quarter from 2.4% to 2.6%, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That figure was the strongest since 2014 and surpassed pre-pandemic growth rates, Capital Economics said. 

"What's more, the proportion of workers receiving a pay rise was unusually high for a June quarter as the number of employees switching jobs has continued to accelerate," Capital Economics senior Australia and New Zealand economist Marcel Thieliant said. 

Thieliant expects wage growth to climb to 3.5% by 2023 but says the Australian central bank is worried "the recent surge in inflation will unanchor inflation expectations and prompt workers to demand even stronger pay hikes."

While wage growth has lifted, it is still behind current inflation of 6.1% making real wages worse off for Australians.

— Su-Lin Tan

Australia's economy remains robust for July

Australia's Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which measures the direction of the economy, rose to 0.63% in July, up from 0.48% in June.

The six-month annualized growth rate has held broadly steady over the last three months, backed by a strong labor market and solid household balance sheets.

Westpac said it expects growth in spending to now slow "under the weight of rising interest rates and high inflation which are already sapping confidence."

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said it was important for the Reserve Bank of Australia to "continue to raise the cash rate at every meeting for the remainder of 2022" until February 2023.

The central bank's next monetary policy decision is slated for Sept. 6.

— Jihye Lee

Singapore key exports grew slower in July

Singapore's key exports grew at a slower pace in July due to softer shipments of non-electronic goods.

Non-oil domestic exports grew 7% in July year-on-year, compared with June's 8.5%. It has, however, beaten the Bloomberg consensus expectation of 6.4%.

Exports to markets like Malaysia and Taiwan rose, but exports to China and Japan fell. Overall, both non-oil exports and imports grew in July.

— Su-Lin Tan

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A strong rebound in U.S. equities has sparked hope that the market has bottomed. But is the bear market truly behind us now?

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— Zavier Ong

Japan exports grew in July

Japan posted better than expected exports growth for July compared with a year ago. The growth of 19% beat the 18.2% consensus Refinitiv estimate, driven by a strong recovery in car exports.

Imports rose 47.2% in July from a year earlier, led by higher prices of imported crude oil and liquid natural gas.

"Japan's trade deficit widened to a record high in July but it should start to shrink over the coming months as supply shortages and commodity prices continue to ease," Capital Economics Japan economist Darren Tay said in a note.

"Motor vehicle production should continue to normalize as supply chain disruptions ease, while commodity price growth has eased even further."

— Su-Lin Tan

New Zealand second-quarter PPI input and output figures higher than expected

New Zealand reported second-quarter producer's price index input and output figures came in at 3.1% and 2.4%, respectively. The data indicate that wholesale price inflation for the second quarter rose more than analyst expectations, but at a slower rate than the first quarter.

— Su-Lin Tan

CNBC Pro: Is 'super cheap' Meta a buy? Here's what tech investor Paul Meeks says

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— Weizhen Tan

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