SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday morning trade as investors monitor a Covid wave in China. Meanwhile, oil prices continued to be volatile amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
In the morning of Asia trading hours, international benchmark Brent crude futures were down 1.6% to $110.87 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 2.08% to $107.06 per barrel.
Oil prices during the Russia-Ukraine conflict have spiked to record levels then fell back in the past week on supply hopes, before rising again to close out the week. Over in Asia, China, India, Japan and South Korea are all major importers of oil, according to 2020 data from the International Energy Agency.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 1.44% in morning trade while the Topix index advanced 1.18%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.96%.
South Korea’s Kospi lagged, dipping 0.45%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.
Investors continued watching developments on the Russia-Ukraine war, which is disrupting shipping and air freight. Elsewhere, markets will also monitor a recent wave of Covid infections in China — including the major city of Shenzhen.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce a rate hike later this week, the first such move since 2018.
In Asia, the Bank of Japan is also set to announce its monetary policy decision later in the week.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.999 after its recent bounce from below 98.
The Japanese yen traded at 117.49 per dollar after last week’s weakening from below 116 against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.7296 after slipping from above $0.732 late last week.
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