Asian stocks rebound after Wall Street falls, US bans Russian oil – Press Enterprise


BEIJING (AP) – Asian stocks rallied on Wednesday after Wall Street fell and China reported marginally higher inflation.

Already high oil prices continued to climb, adding more than $2 a barrel after President Joe Biden banned imports of Russian crude.

Stock benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney rose while Hong Kong fell. South Korean markets were closed due to a presidential election.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 0.7% amid ongoing concerns over the impact of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

Asian markets “appear to be taking a breather” from their sell-off, but Wall Street’s retreat “might have some waiting as geopolitical risks show no sign of easing,” IG’s Yeap Jun Rong said in a report.

Also on Wednesday, the Chinese government said consumer prices rose 0.6% mom in February, while producer prices rose 0.5% mom.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6% to 3,312.39 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% to 25,003.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.4% to 20,680.54.

Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 rose 1.1% to 7,054.60. New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta rose while Bangkok retreated.

Benchmark US crude rose $2.41 to $126.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $4.30 on Tuesday to $123.70.

Brent crude, the basis for international oil prices, rose $3.14 to $131.12 a barrel in London. In the previous session, it rose $4.77 to $127.98.

Commodity markets have been rocked by Putin’s war because Russia is the second largest oil exporter and the third largest supplier of nickel, which is used to make electric car batteries, stainless steel and other products. Russia and Ukraine are also among the world’s largest wheat sellers.

Nickel prices doubled to over $100,000 a tonne on Tuesday, prompting the London Metal Exchange to halt trading.

A major Chinese producer of nickel and stainless steel, Tsingshan Group, faces potential billions of dollars in losses on futures contracts, The Asian Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News reported. A woman who answered the phone at Tsingshan’s headquarters hung up when told a reporter was calling.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 4,170.70 for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday. It is now 13.1% below its recent record high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6% to 32,632.64. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% to 12,795.55. On Monday, it closed 20% below its record high.

On Tuesday, Biden announced the United States would block imports of Russian crude oil to punish Putin for attacking Ukraine. Biden said he was acting in collusion with European allies but acknowledged they were more dependent on Russian oil and gas and may not be able to take similar steps immediately.

Biden said Tuesday he hoped to limit the pain for Americans but acknowledged the ban will push up gas prices.

“Defending freedom will also cost us something,” he said.

Before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, financial markets were already concerned about the global economic outlook as the US Federal Reserve and other central banks prepare to cool inflation by withdrawing ultra-low interest rates and other stimulus.

In the currency markets, the dollar rose to 115.86 yen from 115.74 yen on Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.0919 from $1.0908.


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