Japan November factory activity contracts, October unemployment dips

Japan’s factory activity contracted for a sixth straight month in November amid falling domestic and international demand, according to a private survey.

The final au Jibun Bank Japan manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.3 last month from October’s 48.7, but was marginally better than the initial reading of 48.1.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

A separate reading showed Japan’s October unemployment rate fell to 2.5% from the prior month’s 2.6%.

The reading was also slightly below Reuters poll forecast of 2.6%.

— Shreyashi Sanyal

THU, NOV 30 20238:07 PM EST

South Korea factory activity unchanged, stops contraction for first time since June 2022

South Korea’s factory activity has stopped a 17-month contraction streak in November, according to private surveys by S&P Global.

The country’s manufacturing purchasing managers index came in at exactly 50, representing unchanged operating conditions for the sector.

S&P said that output levels broadly stabilized in November, leading to manufacturers increasing staffing levels and buying activity.

However, it added that “this masked a more subdued outlook for the coming year as firms signalled the weakest degree of optimism for five months amid concern over sustained economic weakness.”

— Lim Hui Jie

THU, NOV 30 20237:21 PM EST

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs loves this sub-sector in China — and names 3 stocks to buy

One corner of the economy in China is one of Goldman’s top preferred sub-sectors — and six key themes will take center stage in 2024.

The bank named three Chinese stocks it says are “well positioned” for those themes.

One of the stocks is on Goldman’s conviction list, which comprises buy-rated names it expects to outperform.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

THU, NOV 30 20233:38 PM EST

Market pricing points to five rate cuts following inflation data

As markets got another signal Thursday that inflation is ebbing, they solidified bets that the Fed is done hiking rates and will be cutting substantially in 2024.

Futures pricing suggested only a minimal chance of rate increases at the Federal Open Market Committee’s December and January meetings, according to CME Group data. Moreover, futures pointed to a better-than-even chance that the central bank will cut benchmark rates five times next year, the equivalent of 1.25 percentage points.

The moves followed Thursday morning economic readings showing that core PCE inflation fell to 3.5% and continuing jobless claims rose to a two-year high.

—Jeff Cox

THU, NOV 30 202311:25 AM EST

U.S. crude falls amid skepticism about OPEC cuts

U.S. crude fell nearly 2%, erasing its gains from earlier in the day as traders worry that OPEC and its allies, OPEC+, will not deliver on promised output cuts.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for January fell $2.17, or 2.79%, to $75.75 a barrel, while Brent was was down 26 cent, or .31%, at $82.84 a barrel.

OPEC+ delegates told Reuters that the group has agreed to output cuts approaching 2 million barrels per day next year for early next year.

But traders are worried that the cuts are voluntary and not mandatory, raising the question of whether OPEC+ can really follow through, according to Phil Flynn, an analyst with the Price Futures Group, said

“The proof is going to be in the pudding,” Flynn said. “Instead of having a clear answer to what is going to happen we only have promise — the promise making people nervous,” Flynn said.

— Spencer Kimball

THU, NOV 30 202311:05 AM EST

10-year Treasury yield falls to 4.34% after topping 5% last month

The 10-year Treasury yield has retreated significantly this month on rising hopes that the Federal Reserve may not need to raise interest rates further.

The benchmark rate has fallen 56 basis points in November to trade at 4.324% after the key bond yield topped the 5% threshold in October. On Wednesday, the rate dipped below 4.25% for the first time since September. 

The 30-year Treasury yield has dropped 58 basis points this month to 4.48%. Yields decline when bond prices rise, and one basis point equals 0.01%.

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