Asian stocks fall after gains on Wall St as markets watch Ukraine

BEIJING — Asian stock markets fell Monday after Wall Street’s biggest weekly gain in 16 months, as investors saw efforts to negotiate an end to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The price of oil rose more than $3 a barrel.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney withdrew. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 index rose 1.2% on Friday after markets appeared to welcome the Federal Reserve’s attempt to fight rising inflation by raising its key interest rate.

Investors looked to try to broker a settlement for Russia’s attack, which has pushed up oil prices and increased uncertainty about the global economic outlook.

“It appears there is a 50-50 chance of continuing to pick up market sentiment,” Mizuho Bank’s Tan Boon Heng said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1% to 3,248.87 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost less than 0.3% to 21,344.09.

The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.6% to 2,688.95 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney fell less than 0.1% to 7,291.80.

The Indian Sensex opened 0.4% lower at 57,621.80. New Zealand and Singapore won while Jakarta and Bangkok withdrew.


On Friday, the S&P rose to 4,463.12, contributing to a two-day gain of 2%. The Dow rose 0.8% to 34,754.93 and the Nasdaq composite rose 2% to 13,893.84. The three indices had their best week since November 2020.

Russia’s attack has heightened investor unease that the Fed and other central banks withdrew the stimulus that pushed up stock prices and tightened China’s trade and travel restrictions in response to coronavirus outbreaks.

Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell expressed confidence that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ukraine and Russia are close to an agreement on “fundamental issues” after he traveled to both countries to meet with his colleagues.

In return for his neutrality, Cavusoglu said Ukraine wants Turkey, Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to act as guarantors.

Also on Monday, Disney Co. its theme park in Shanghai as the city tried to contain its biggest coronavirus flare-up in two years. Shops and offices in Shenzhen’s southern business center have reopened after a week-long closure.

China’s number of cases in the latest wave of infection is low compared to other major countries, but authorities maintain a “zero tolerance” strategy that has suspended access to some major cities.

In the energy markets, the US benchmark crude rose $3.42 to $106.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil, the price base for international oil trade, rose $3.38 to $111.31 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 119.25 yen from 119.13 yen on Friday. The euro fell from $1.1047 to $1.1042.

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