Asia-Pacific markets rise after Wall Street saw gains on optimism led by regional banks

CNBC Pro: RBC names 5 global financial stocks to buy right now as banks sell off

The recent share price falls in European financial institutions have presented a buying opportunity, according to RBC Capital Markets.

The investment bank named five stocks to buy during the share price dip, noting that these financial institutions are not the type ever to face a bank run.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

Shares of Indonesia’s GoTo fell 4.6% as the firm posts a wider net loss

Shares of GoTo Group fell as much as 4.62% in early Tuesday trading after the Indonesian tech giant posted a wider net loss of 40.4 trillion rupiah ($2.63 billion) in 2022.

Net losses in 2021 came up to 25.9 trillion rupiah.

GoTo has been struggling towards profitability, with its management promising further cost cuts during its third quarter earnings call in November. The firm had said that it expects a “significant part” of the cost cuts, including headcount reduction, would be realized in the first quarter of 2023.

“As we look ahead, the first two months of 2023 show even faster progress, meaning we are on track to reach positive adjusted EBITDA within the fourth quarter of 2023,” said Andre Soelistyo, GoTo Group CEO, in a press release.

— Sheila Chiang

IMF is bullish Sri Lanka’s crisis-stricken economy could recover in 2024

The IMF has approved a $3 billion bailout for Sri Lanka, making way for the South Asian country’s economy to restructure its debt.

Krishna Srinivasan, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department, told CNBC that Sri Lanka’s economy has “contracted quite sharply” as a result of the economic and humanitarian crisis.

However, the IMF expects “a 3% contraction this year before the economy picks up next year.”

Sri Lanka has struggled with severe shortages of food, medicine, fuel and electricity since last year. The IMF’s decision will allow an immediate disbursement of a $333 million loan over four years.

Gabriel Sterne, head of global emerging markets at Oxford Economics, told CNBC in an interview, the IMF’s loan approval is significant for Sri Lanka, which defaulted on its debt last year.

Read full story here.

— Sumathi Bala

Thai stocks rise slightly after parliament dissolved, Delta Electronics top performer

Stocks in Thailand rose slightly after the country’s parliament was dissolved on Monday, making way for national elections.

The benchmark Set 50 index climbed 0.76% in early trade on Tuesday, led by electronics exporter and manufacturer Delta Electronics.

Other top performers include PTT, a Thai state owned oil and gas company, as well as energy supplier Gulf Energy Development.

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Lim Hui Jie

Japan says Kishida to visit Ukraine, hold talks with Zelenskyy

Japan’s foreign ministry confirmed that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is visiting Ukraine.

“As the G-7 [chair], Prime Minister Kishida will directly convey our solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine,” a statement from the ministry said.

Kishida will visit Poland on Wednesday after his trip and return to Japan on Thursday, the ministry said.

Japan’s prime minister left India after meeting his counterpart there, Narendra Modi. The two leaders discussed stronger ties between their countries — both of them democracies — in the face of rising assertiveness from China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Last month, Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan told CNBC he was optimistic Kishida would visit Ukraine before hosting the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima in May.

– Jihye Lee

Moody’s changes UBS’ outlook to negative from stable

Moody’s Investors Services affirmed its ratings of UBS Group AG while changing its outlook on the long term deposit and senior unsecured ratings from stable to negative.

The action comes after UBS agreed to acquire Credit Suisse for $3.2 billion as regulators look to shore up confidence in the global banking system.

“Despite the eventual franchise benefits, Moody’s also notes that the transaction poses significant financial, cultural and franchise related integration challenges for UBSG,” it said in the note.

Moody’s listed the need to retain Credit Suisse personnel in the process of the deal, working on minimizing losses on overlaps in clients in businesses and the need to unify the two companies’ cultures as the challenges that UBS would face.

It voiced more optimism for its wealth management business from the deal than its investment banking.

“Moody’s believes that the acquisition of CSG has the potential, in due course, to significantly enhance UBSG’s franchise in wealth management, Swiss banking, asset management and to a lesser degree in investment banking, whilst targeting a reduction of operating costs by more than  $8 billion,” it said.

– Jihye Lee

South Korea producer prices index for February comes in lower at 4.8%

South Korea’s producer prices index for February rose 4.8% year-on-year, lower than January’s figure of 5.1%.

This puts the index at 120.42, higher than the 120.25 in January.

The PPI measures the average movements of prices received by domestic producers for goods and services sold.

The Korean won weakened by 0.25% after the announcement to trade at 1,307.43 per dollar.

— Lim Hui Jie

New Zealand trade deficit narrows marginally to $445 million in February

New Zealand saw its trade deficit for February narrow to NZ$714 million ($445 million), marginally lower than the NZ$715 million recorded in the same period a year ago.

Data from the country’s statistics department showed that goods exports rose 0.8% year on year to NZ$5.2 billion, while goods imports rose 0.7% to NZ$5.9 billion.

Exports to all of New Zealand major export partners were mostly up, except to the European Union. China still remained as the country’s export partner, with exports increasing 7.1% to NZ$1.5 billion.

However, imports from China saw the largest fall in February among all of New Zealand’s trading partners, slumping 22% to $1.2 billion. Imports from all other major trading partners rose.

The New Zealand dollar strengthened 0.3% on Tuesday, trading at 0.6227 against the U.S. dollar.

— Lim Hui Jie

South Korea’s trade falls in first 20 days of March

South Korea saw an annualized 17.4% drop in exports and a 5.7% fall in imports for the first 20 days of March, data from its trade ministry showed.

Exports for the first 20 days of March came in at $30.9 billion dollars, while imports were at $37.3 billion.

Exports to the U.S. increased by 4.6% compared to the same period last year, while exports to China saw the largest fall by 36.2%, followed by Vietnam with a 28.3% drop.

Imports from China and Taiwan rose 9.1% and 14.1% respectively, while the largest drop of imports was seen from Australia with a 24.7% decrease.

Following the announcement, the Korean won weakened 0.18% to trade at 1,306.72 against the U.S. dollar.

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— Lim Hui Jie

CNBC Pro: Goldman’s Oppenheimer says stocks will stay ‘fat and flat’ — and reveals how to trade it

Fears of contagion in the banking sector may have subsided with a rescue deal for Credit Suisse, but Goldman Sachs Chief Global Equity Strategist Peter Oppenheimer believes stocks are not out of the woods yet.

“Even if markets rebound from current levels in the short term, high uncertainty and lowered confidence levels are likely to mean an ongoing ‘fat & flat’ market given that valuations do not look particularly attractive,” he said.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: JPMorgan vs. Bank of America? Analysts say one of the stocks is set to soar 50%

It’s not just regional bank shares that have been hit by the recent banking crisis — large-cap bank stocks have also tumbled.

But some analysts say the selloff is overdone.

Kenny Polcari, chief market strategist at SlateStone Wealth, described the pullback as “an opportunity for those that have a strong stomach,” referring to stocks such as JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo.

For those looking to invest, CNBC Pro takes a look at what analysts are saying about JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America in particular.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

Bill Ackman suggests Fed should pause on rate hikes on Wednesday

Billionaire investor and Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman said the U.S. Federal Reserve should pause its interest rate hikes, as the Federal Open Market Committee meeting kicks off Tuesday.

Noting that markets have seen “major shocks” with the closures of U.S. banks, Ackman said the banking crisis “remain unresolved” and that higher rates will not help with the situation.

“This is not an environment into which the @federalreserve should be raising rates and adding additional pressure on the system as financial stability is the Fed’s first responsibility,” he said in his tweet

– Jihye Lee

Regional bank stocks rebound from steep losses

Oil prices drop amid global banking turmoil

The front-month April WTI Nymex was lower by 1.45% on Monday, trading at $65.75 per barrel. That level is still above Friday’s low of $65.17, which was the lowest level since December 2, 2021 when WTI traded as low as 62.43

Brent oil prices also dipped into the red, recently down 0.7%, or at $72.47 per barrel.

— Pia Singh

Bitcoin surges to nine-month high as Treasury yields touch six-month low

Bitcoin climbed to $28,551.73 in early trading, the highest level since June 12, 2022, when bitcoin traded as high as $28,647.91.

Ether reached $1,846.25, the highest level since Aug. 19, 2022, when ether traded as high as $1,879. Coinbase is on pace for its 6th straight daily advance.

The moves came as 2- and 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels in six months. The U.S. 2-year yield fell to 3.635%, the lowest since Sept. 13, while the U.S. 10-year yield touched 3.291%, the lowest since Sept 12.

— Scott Schnipper, Gina Francolla

Stocks making the biggest midday moves

Here are some of the names making the biggest moves in midday trading:

  • UBS, Credit Suisse — U.S.-listed shares of Credit Suisse dove nearly 52% after UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse for 3 billion Swiss francs, or $3.2 billion. UBS shares gained about 5%.
  • US Bancorp — The stock rallied nearly 6% after being upgraded to outperform from neutral by Baird. The Wall Street firm said US Bancorp could benefit as the bank crisis pushes depositors to move holdings to larger regional banks.
  • Virgin Orbit— Shares tumbled more than 35% as the company scrambled to secure funding and avoid bankruptcy, which could come as early as this week without a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

To see more stocks making moves in midday trading, read the full story here.

— Michelle Fox