Asian stocks are generally down as investors watch the Ukraine crisis | Health
By ELAINE KURTENBACH – AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly down on Monday after a retreat on Wall Street, as investors watched developments in Ukraine after Russia rescinded earlier promises to withdraw tens of thousands of its troops from the northern border of Ukraine.
Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and Shanghai fell while Sydney advanced.
The White House says President Joe Biden has agreed “in principle” to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin if he is refraining from launching an assault that US officials say looks increasingly likely.
Russia’s move extended military exercises that brought about 30,000 Russian troops to Belarus, Ukraine’s northern neighbor. They were to end on Sunday. The soldiers are among some 150,000 troops deployed along Ukraine’s borders, along with tanks, fighter jets, artillery and other war materials.
Concern that Russian troops could descend on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a city of about 3 million people less than three hours away, has added uncertainty for investors already nervous about the central bank’s strategies. to fight inflation.
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Russia is a major energy producer and a military conflict could also disrupt energy supplies and make energy prices extremely volatile.
Markets are on “temptations,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. But she added: “Relief rallies seem to be emerging; comforting Presidents Biden and Putin having “agreed in principle” to a summit; provided that Russia does not invade Ukraine. “
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.7% to 26,926.01, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.6% to 24,194.64. In Seoul, the Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,733.36 and the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.3% to 3,479.07.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2% to 7,239.30 as the country ready to reopen its borders to more international travel after nearly two years of sequestration due to the pandemic.
Vaccinated travelers were greeted at Sydney Airport by jubilant well-wishers waving toy koalas and favorite Australian foods, including Tim Tams chocolate cookies and tubs of Vegemite spread.
Coronavirus outbreaks fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant are also of concern. A preliminary reading of factory data for Japan on Monday showed a sharp decline in the Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index, to 52.9 from 55.4 on a 0-100 scale where readings above 50 indicate a expansion.
But analysts said they expect activity to rebound as the latest wave of infections wanes.
In Australia, the shares of AGL, the country’s largest electricity producer, jumped nearly 12% after it said it rejected an A$8 billion ($5.8 billion) takeover bid from tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and Canadian investment firm Brookfield.
Shares of software company Atlassian, founded by Cannon-Brookes, fell nearly 2%.
On Friday, stocks closed a week of volatile trading on Wall Street with a large sell-off.
The S&P 500 lost 0.7% to 4,348.87 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also slipped 0.7% to 34,079.18. The Nasdaq composite took the brunt of the selloff, slipping 1.2% to 12,548.07.
Shares of smaller companies also fell, with the Russell 2000 Index down 0.9% to 2,009.33.
Treasury yields fell on Friday as investors shifted money to the safety of US bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield, which affects rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, was flat at 1.93% Monday morning.
Markets have been hit by concerns about how businesses will cope with inflation at decades-high levels in many countries, and whether consumers could cut spending to meet costs higher for most things.
Wall Street looks ahead to determine how markets will react to more aggressive monetary policy from the United States Federal Reserve as it begins to tighten after two years of ultra-low interest rates and other support measures.
In other trading on Monday, the benchmark U.S. crude lost 50 cents to $89.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 17 cents to $90.21 on Friday.
Brent crude, the international price standard, fell 37 cents to $93.17 a barrel.
The US dollar slipped to 114.94 Japanese yen from 115.12 yen on Friday night. The euro fell from $1.1324 to $1.1363.
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