Samsung estimates a 50% increase in first-quarter profit

SINGAPORE – Shares in Japan fell more than 1% and other Asia-Pacific markets fell on Thursday after two days of declines on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.69% to 26,888.57, while the Topix slipped 1.56% to 1,892.90. Both indices fell nearly 2% earlier in the session before paring some losses. Shares of Fast Retailing fell 3.36% to 60,180.

Mainland Chinese stocks declined. The Shanghai composite was down 1.42% at 3,236.70, while the Shenzhen component fell 1.65% to 200.89.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1% at the end of trading and the Hang Seng Technology Index was 2.38% lower. Bilibili shares fell 4.35% and Alibaba shares in Hong Kong fell 1.67%.

Vey-Sern Ling, managing director of UBP, said Hong Kong-listed tech stocks face a “confluence of headwinds” given geopolitical tensions with Russia, the Fed’s rate hike and possible exclusion of Chinese companies in the US

However, he said that valuations in the sector are “extremely low” and there are supporting factors for these types of companies.

“Maybe if you have a longer-term view, it might not be a bad idea to gain some exposure right now,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.

Arguably, the aggressive balance sheet sell-off probably stole the show for a much more aggressive shakeout in the markets.

Vishnu Varathan

Head of Economics and Strategy, Mizuho Bank

Nasdaq and Hong Kong-listed announced that Xu Lei will succeed founder Richard Liu as CEO of the company effective immediately. Liu will remain chairman of the board of directors, while Xu will be chief executive officer.

Last year, Liu stepped away from day-to-day operations, and Xu was appointed JD chairman. Hong Kong-listed shares of the company fell 3.15% on Thursday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.63% at 7,442.8.

In Korea, the Kospi fell 1.43% to 2,695.86 while the Kosdaq fell 1.61% to 927.95.

Samsung Electronics reported that its operating profit for the first quarter of 2022 is likely up around 50% compared to a year ago. The smartphone and memory chip maker posted an estimated profit of 14.1 trillion won ($11.6 billion), he said in its earnings guidance.

The company’s shares fell 0.73% to 68,000.

MSCI’s broader index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 1.21%.

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In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of India will continue its monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

Overnight in the US, major stock indices fell for a second day as investors reacted to the Fed’s guidance on tightening monetary policy.

Minutes from the Fed meeting showed that officials are seeking to reduce the balance sheet by $95 billion per month. Interest rates are also expected to rise faster.

“Arguably, the aggressive balance sheet sell-off likely stole the show to deliver a much stronger shock to markets,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 144.67 points, or 0.42%, to 34,496.51. The S&P 500 fell 0.97% to 4,481.15, and the Nasdaq Composite fell another 2.22% to 13,888.82 after falling 2.3% on Tuesday.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to a three-year high above 2.65% on Wednesday, last trading at 2.5603%.

On the economic front, weekly US jobless claims data is due out on Thursday morning in the US.

Oil rises more than 1%

Both benchmark crudes rose more than 1% on Thursday morning in Asia.

US crude futures rose 1.3% to trade at $97.48 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 1.35% to $102.43 a barrel.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, last traded at 99.521.

The Japanese yen was trading at 123.76 per dollar, while the Australian dollar was trading at $0.7485, down from yesterday’s levels.

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