Asian stocks rebound after Wall St falls on Ukraine tensions
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rebounded Wednesday after Wall Street slid on anxiety over President Vladimir Putin’s authorization to send Russian soldiers into eastern Ukraine.
Shanghai, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia advanced. Oil prices edged higher on concern about possible disruption to Russian supplies. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
Global stock prices sank Tuesday as traders tried to figure out the impact of Russia’s moves and sanctions imposed by Washington, Britain and the 27-nation European Union on its banks, officials and business leaders.
“Current U.S. sanctions on Russia are less-than-feared by the market,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report. However, Alves noted American officials have more “acute options” including reducing Russia’s access to the SWIFT system for global bank transactions.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 1% on Tuesday to 4,304.76. That puts it 10.3% below its Jan. 3 all-time high and into what traders call a correction, or a decline of at least 10% but less than 20%.
On Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4% to 3,469.57 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.6% to 23,657.49.
The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.2% to 2,712.69 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4% to 7,186.30.
New Zealand and Indonesia gained. Singapore and Bangkok declined.
Also Tuesday, Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4% to 33,596.61. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.2% to 13,381.52.
U.S. stocks were already off their early Jan. 3 peak due to uncertainty about the impact of the Federal Reserve’s decision to withdraw ultra-low interest rates and other economic stimulus.
Markets were rattled after Putin recognized the independence of rebel-held areas in Ukraine and sent in troops in defiance of U.S. and European pressure.
Wheat prices rose on concern about supplies from Russia and Ukraine being disrupted.
Prices of nickel and aluminum, for which Russia is a major supplier, also rose.
European natural gas prices jumped after Germany withdrew a key document needed for certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 43 cents per barrel to $91.94 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.28 on Tuesday to $92.35. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, advanced 4 cents to $93.89 per barrel in London. It gained $1.45 the previous session to $96.84.
The dollar was little-changed at 115.08 yen. The euro declined to $1.1324 from $1.1334.