TOKYO ( Associated Press) – Asian stocks were mixed on Monday as concerns about the pandemic, inflation and the war in Ukraine weighed on market sentiment.
Benchmarks rose in Hong Kong and Sydney while Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai declined.
Shanghai went into a nine-day semi-lockdown, raising concerns over the economic impact from the pandemic. With China’s economic growth already slowing, the extreme measure could worsen unemployment, slash consumer demand and further complicate already dilapidated global supply chains.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.1% lower at 3,208.12.
More broadly, the war in Ukraine And inflation is clouding the global outlook. Federal Reserve move Raising interest rates to counter rising prices is another concern in uncertain times.
“In the new week, there could be some volatility in the markets due to geopolitical tensions and the Fed’s outlook for a tighter path. In several rounds of talks, it has shown that a peaceful solution between Ukraine and Russia may be more difficult than expected,” said Yep Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped nearly 0.6% to 27,991.57, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% to 7,438.90.
South Korea’s Kospi fell less than 0.1% to end at 2,729.58. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.4% to 21,712.93.
The US Federal Reserve has indicated that it may continue to raise interest rates as a way to curb inflation. Earlier this month, Fed officials raised their key rate from minus a quarter point to 0.25% to 0.5%.
Meanwhile the war is raising concerns over instability, energy prices and economic slowdown in various countries. Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the West of cowardice, calling for fighter jets and tanks to help defend his country from Russia’s invading troops.
Russia has said its main focus in the conflict is on controlling the eastern Donbass region, which is clearly lagging behind its earlier, more detailed goals, but one that is raising fears of a divided Ukraine. Earlier, President Joe Biden said in a speech That Russian President Vladimir Putin could not stay in power. White House aides rushed to downplay the comments, clarifying that Biden was not calling for a “regime change.”
Wall Street ended last week with a moderate rally. The S&P 500 rose 1.8% to 4,543.06, up 0.5% for the week. The Dow rose 0.4% to 34,861.24. The Nasdaq fell 0.2% to close at 14,169.30.
The Russell 2000 Index rose 0.1% to 2,077.98.
Oil prices have been fluctuating since Russia’s war against Ukraine began in February. Russia is the second largest crude oil exporter. Energy prices were already highBut the conflict has raised concerns about a worsening supply crisis that could make rising inflation worse.
Japan imports almost all of its oil, almost all of it from the Middle East. But rising prices will hit an already fragile economy with shutdowns and restrictions imposed over the past two years to contain COVID-19 infections.
Benchmark US crude fell $3.31 to $110.59 a barrel on Monday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.4% to $113.90 a barrel late Friday. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, fell $3.13 to $117.52 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar rose from 122.07 yen to 122.84 Japanese yen. The Euro is priced at $1.0958, which is lower than $1.0989.