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Most Asian markets rise as traders track Ukraine crisis

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

city.

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

growth.

"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