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Microsoft and Alphabet shares rise as big tech report robust earnings

In today’s top stories, the Microsoft share price was looking healthy after strong Q3 2023 results. Elsewhere, Alibaba’s cloud division has slashed its prices by up to 50% in its bid to attract more customers, while Chinese gaming giant Tencent is looking to move away from domestic income streams by ramping up its overseas investments. Korean semiconductor maker SK Hynix reported a record operating loss due to weak demand, but is confident demand will pick up in the second half of the year. Lastly, Japanese automaker Honda is planning to launch several new EV models in the US, beginning in 2025.

Big tech rises following earnings

Shares in Alphabet [GOOGL] were set to open in the green on Wednesday following its first quarter (Q1) 2023 earnings, which saw ad revenue decline for the second straight quarter, despite beating forecasts. The Microsoft [MSFT] share price was on course to hit a 52-week high after strong Q3 2023 results. Revenue in Microsoft’s cloud sector jumped 16%, which was “better than feared”, tweeted Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.

Alibaba cuts cloud prices

The cloud division of Alibaba [BABA] has slashed its prices by up to 50% in its bid to attract more customers and capture a greater share of China’s cloud market. The price cuts could help it to “fend off increased cloud and generative-AI rivalry from peers such as Tencent and Baidu this year”, noted Bloomberg Intelligence analysts. Alibaba has also announced that 200,000 enterprise customers have registered to use the demo version of its AI chatbot Tongyi Qianwen.

Tencent expands European investment

Chinese gaming giant Tencent [0700.HK] is looking to move away from relying on domestic income streams by ramping up its overseas investments. “We weren’t aggressive in our capital deployment towards the end of last year given macroeconomic uncertainty in Europe and the political situation with the US,” a source told the Financial Times. TikTok owner ByteDance is hoping Mobile Legends: Bang Bang can compete with Tencent after the hit game was approved for a domestic release by Beijing regulators.

SK Hynix eyes second-half rebound

Korean semiconductor maker SK Hynix [000660.KS] reported a record operating loss for the three months ended 31 March due to weak demand. Shares closed 2% higher, though, as the company signalled that it expected market conditions for memory chips to rebound in the second half of the year. “Memory chips are in serious oversupply... So SK Hynix signalling continued production cuts lifted shares,” Meritz Securities analyst Kim Sun-woo told Reuters.

Honda plays

Japanese automaker Honda [HMC] is planning to launch several new electric vehicle (EV) models in the US, beginning in 2025, as it attempts to catch up with faster-moving rivals. Honda sold 255,250 EVs in the US in the October to December period, meaning its total share of the US EV market was just 7.1%, according to Cox Automotive data. The company has also struck a deal with TSMC [TSM] to ensure a “stable” supply of chips.

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