Most Asian markets rose as global oil prices fell to the pre-war level in Ukraine

An electronic price panel displays Tokyo Stock Exchange numbers (presented) and the price of the yen against the US dollar (R) at a forex brokerage firm in Tokyo on August 2, 2022. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Hong Kong, China (AFP) – Asian stocks rose mostly on Friday as a drop in oil prices to pre-Ukrainian war levels raised hopes of a slowdown in inflation and a hike in interest rates from the central bank, while focus shifted to key US jobs data. later in the day.

However, while markets enjoyed a broadly positive week, optimism remains high as traders fear issues such as the conflict in Eastern Europe, Chinese military exercises over Taiwan and a possible global recession.

Crude oil has risen but expectations that economies will shrink – denting demand – has pushed commodities down more than 10 per cent this week, with US data suggesting Americans were now driving less than they did in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

As analysts beat the recessionary drums, traders are taking their courage from the prospect of postponing the central bank’s monetary tightening.

“The recent drop in oil prices, which are now trading below levels just prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, contributed to the market perception that inflation was likely to peak soon, putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates aggressively,” National said. . Rodrigo Catrill of the Bank of Australia.

(File photo) HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 01: A gas pump is seen at a Shell gas station on April 1, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)

Traders will now closely watch the release of the important US jobs report later on Friday for a fresh snapshot of the world’s largest economy.

The Federal Reserve said its interest rate decision will be guided by the data, with signs of economic weakness seen as likely to mean any increases will be mild.

Officials said the economy remained healthy despite four decades of high inflation and a sharp rise in borrowing costs, while many indicated they were open to more substantial increases to push up prices.

“Although some high-frequency data suggests employment and inflation have eased in some parts of the economy, markets may be questioning whether they are weak enough to change the Fed’s course,” said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

In a sign of the long road ahead, the Bank of England raised interest rates by the most since it became independent in 1997, and warned that inflation was likely to rise above 13 per cent while Britain would suffer an extended recession.

Wall Street provided a soft lead after the recent gains, but Asia was significantly higher.

Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Jakarta, Wellington and Singapore shares rose, although Hong Kong and Manila declined.

Taipei surged more than 2 percent as concerns about a conflict with Beijing eased, even as China staged its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week.

China launched a series of exercises in multiple regions on Thursday, along some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

While Taipei did not say where the missiles landed or whether they flew over the island, Japan said that of the nine missiles it discovered, “four are believed to have flown over the main island of Taiwan.”

For a world facing a whole host of major challenges, there is certainly a lot of optimism across equities at the moment.

“Inflation is challenging corporate profits and impacting consumer confidence. A global recession looks likely as growth becomes scarcer than ever. Geopolitical tensions and the growth of populism are accelerating the trend toward localization (and raising the risks of a bleaker future). Climate change looms over us all.”

“However, this week stocks continued the strong rally in July.”

– Key numbers around 0300 GMT –
TOKYO – Nikkei 225: up 0.7 percent to 28131.87 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: down 0.1 percent at 20145.45

Shanghai – Composite: up 0.1 percent to 3,191.55 points

EUR/USD: down at $1.0233 from $1.0248 on Thursday

Pound/dollar: down at $1.2139 from $1.2166

Euro / Pound: up at 84.31 pence from 84.21 pence

Dollar / yen: rose to 133.22 yen from 132.95 yen

West Texas Intermediate: up 0.4 percent at $88.87 a barrel

Brent North Sea crude: up 0.2 percent to $ 94.35 a barrel

New York – Dow: down 0.3 percent at 3,2726.82 (close)

London – FTSE 100: flat at 7448.06 (close)

© AFP

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