China Property Stocks Surge, Reaching Near Four-Week Highs in Second-Day Rally

BEIJING (AP) — China’s property stocks rallied for a second consecutive day, reaching near four-week highs on Friday. The CSI 300 real estate sector saw an increase of 2.5% in morning trading, following a nearly 6% surge on Thursday. This upward trend has resulted in a gain of nearly 12% over the past four sessions. The positive performance comes after measures announced by the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance aimed at boosting liquidity for property developers. These new measures will be in effect until the end of 2024. As a result of the news, shares of Hong Kong-listed property developers such as Country Garden, Logan Group, and CK Asset Holdings experienced gains.

In other news, minutes from the Bank of Japan’s December meeting revealed that the central bank is not in a hurry to change its monetary policy stance. The minutes stated that the bank will not terminate its negative interest rate and yield curve control policy based on specific numerical values. Several board members expressed the view that any decision regarding a potential exit from the policy would be made based on various data and information at each future meeting. The meeting also discussed the possibility of raising policy interest rates, with some members stating that the bank was not currently in a situation where it needed to rush to do so.

Meanwhile, Tokyo’s inflation rate softened for the third consecutive month in January, falling to 1.6% from 2.4% in December. The city’s core inflation rate, which excludes fresh food prices, also came in lower than expected at 1.6%. Economists had anticipated a rate of 1.9%. The “core-core” inflation rate, which excludes both fresh food and energy prices, dropped to 2.2% in January from 2.7%.

UBS is recommending investors to move away from cash and into bonds in order to protect their portfolios from a potential downturn. The global chief investment officer for wealth management at UBS, Mark Haefele, advises proactive investors to switch out of cash-heavy positions and invest in high-quality medium duration bonds. UBS expects these bonds to deliver higher returns compared to cash. Furthermore, in a hard landing or recession scenario, longer-term fixed income investments such as bonds can help offset portfolio losses.

According to MRB Partners, transportation stocks are expected to rebound due to a projected reversal in freight shipments in 2024. Low inventories are expected to contribute to a revival in manufacturing output, which would increase global trade and benefit transportation stocks. MRB recommends investing in air freight and logistics companies, citing the recent upswing in air freight revenue ton miles as a positive indicator for these stocks. However, railroads and truckers are currently facing challenges such as muted growth in non-intermodal rail traffic and subdued pricing trends.

Nasdaq 100 futures took a hit in after-hours trading due to the decline of major semiconductor stocks. Shares of Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Applied Materials, KLA, and Nvidia all saw significant losses, dragging down the Nasdaq 100 index. Intel’s disappointing first-quarter guidance contributed to its almost 10% drop in after-hours trading.

Lastly, several companies made headlines in after-hours trading. T-Mobile saw a decline of 2.9% after missing earnings expectations for the fourth quarter. Intel shares fell nearly 8% after the company posted disappointing first-quarter guidance. Levi Strauss announced plans to cut at least 10% of its global corporate workforce, leading to a nearly 1% decline in its shares.