investors watch Russia-Ukraine war, Covid wave in China
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 Russia-Ukraine war.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 4.02% in morning trade, with Chinese tech stocks taking a beating: Tencent fell 4.57%, Alibaba slipped 8.31% and Meituan plunged 11.96%. The Hang Seng Tech index tumbled more than 8%.
South Korea’s Kospi also dipped 1.01%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.69% lower.
Investors continued watching developments on the Russia-Ukraine war, which is disrupting shipping and air freight. Elsewhere, markets also monitored a recent wave of Covid infections in China — including the major city of Shenzhen.
“China is experiencing the largest wave of COVID since the end of national lockdown in March 2020,” ANZ Research’s Raymond Yeung and Zhaopeng Xing wrote in a Monday note.
“If the lockdown is extended, China’s economic growth will be significantly affected. It is too early for us to change our GDP growth forecast (5.0%) for 2022 , but we are wary of the impact of a partial lockdown in the economically rich provinces,” they said.
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 99.256 after its recent bounce from below 98.