Oil prices leap nearly 4%; Asia markets mostly rise as investors assess the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Oil prices leap nearly 4%; Asia markets mostly rise

March 01, 2022: -On Monday, Oil futures were up around 4%, and shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed as investors monitored the Russia-Ukraine crisis and related sanctions.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were 4.5% higher at $95.71 per barrel in Asia trade.

International benchmark Brent crude was up 3.76% at $101.61. Brent crossed the $100 level last week, even touching $105 before paring gains. Both oil contracts settled more than 1% lower on Friday.

Spot gold, traditionally a haven in times of uncertainty, last traded at $1,896.70, rising 0.48% after giving up some gains.

Markets in mainland China increase. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.32% to close at 3,462.31, and the Shenzhen component advanced 0.32% to 13,455.73. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.67% in afternoon trade.

Japan’s Nikkei 225, after struggling for direction earlier, closed up 0.19% to 26,526.82, while the Topix rose 0.57% to 1,886.93.

In South Korea, the Kospi erased losses increase 0.84% to close at 2,699.18, and the Kosdaq advanced 0.93% to 881.07.

After falling slightly, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was up 0.73% at 7,049.1.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped fractionally.

Elsewhere, Taiwan markets are closing for a holiday on Monday.

Global markets were volatile last week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.S. stocks increased before closing on Friday, but futures fell in overnight trade on Sunday.

Russia continued its advance into Ukraine over the weekend, with reports of fighting on the streets and forces encircling Kyiv.

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday put his country’s deterrence forces, which reportedly include nuclear capabilities, on high alert in response to international backlash to Russia’s invasion.

The U.S. and its allies announced new sanctions and measures to hit Russia, such as removing selected Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT.

Many countries have also said they will close their airspace to Russian aircraft.

On the diplomatic front, Ukraine and Russian governments have agreed to meet at the Ukraine-Belarus border with “no preconditions,” according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine and Russia, has close ties with Moscow.

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