Asian markets mostly rose Monday
after last week's rally while oil prices extended gains, with investors
keeping tabs on the Ukraine war as Turkey said Kyiv and Moscow were edging
towards a ceasefire agreement.
Confidence remains at a premium owing to the crisis in eastern Europe --
which threatens to deal a hefty blow to the global economy -- as well as
central bank monetary tightening measures.
Traders struggled to maintain the buying enthusiasm seen last week that was
fuelled by bargain-buying and China's pledge to support beaten-down markets
and indicated a crackdown on the tech sector was nearing an end.
Hopes for an end to the war were given a boost Sunday when authorities in
Turkey, where Russian and Ukrainian representatives have been negotiating,
said the two sides were close to a deal to stop the fighting.
Meanwhile, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the sides were
negotiating six points: Ukraine's neutrality, disarmament and security
guarantees, the so-called "de-Nazification", removal of obstacles on the use
of the Russian language in Ukraine, the status of the breakaway Donbas region
and the status of Crimea annexed by Russia in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also Sunday urged direct talks with
Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as the only way to end the war.
"Dialogue is the only way out," he said on CNN. "I think it's just the two
of us, me and Putin, who can make an agreement on this."
After a healthy performance on Wall Street on Friday, Asia was broadly
higher, though with less conviction than last week.
Hong Kong was slightly higher, holding on to the massive gains enjoyed on
Wednesday and Thursday after Chinese authorities announced they would provide
support to markets battered by recent volatility.
Investors are now awaiting an announcement on any measures, while Hong Kong
leader Carrie Lam is expected to unveil an easing of some restrictions in the
Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta were also up,
though Seoul and Wellington dipped. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
Markets were sent into a tailspin when Russia invaded its neighbour almost
a month ago, sending the price of commodities including oil, nickel and wheat
soaring, putting further upward pressure on already high inflation.
The IMF, World Bank and other top world lenders, warned last week in a
joint statement that the "entire global economy will feel the effects of the
crisis through slower growth, trade disruptions and steeper inflation".
And the International Energy Agency said the planet faced the "biggest oil
supply shock in decades" and urged governments to implement measures to cut
global crude consumption within months.
The war has complicated moves by central banks -- particularly the Federal
Reserve -- to wind down their pandemic-era financial support measures as they
try to walk a fine line between reining in inflation and nurturing economic
"Our concern is that the Fed is tightening into an economic slowdown as it
prioritises high inflation," Sue Trinh, at Manulife Investment Management,
told Bloomberg Television.
"We think it will balance that trade-off of slower growth, higher inflation
by lagging the market pricing in terms of the pace, the magnitude and the
duration of this tightening cycle."
- Key figures around 0230 GMT -
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.3 percent at 21,477.26
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 3,262.69
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday
Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.6 percent at $110.74 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.9 percent at $107.70 per barrel
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1049 from $1.1051 late Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3163 from $1.3181
Euro/pound: UP at 83.95 pence from 83.81 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 119.16 yen from 119.13 yen
New York - DOW: UP 0.8 percent at 34,754.93 (close)
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,404.73 (close)
Source: United News of Bangladesh