Asian equities spooked by Ukraine nuclear plant fire
Overnight, European stock markets were crushed once again under Ukrainian nerves as commodity prices across the board soared. US stocks managed a modest recovery as bond yields steadied and hopes rose of an Iranian nuclear deal. But Wall Street still finished lower on the day, notably in the tech space. The S&P 500 fell by 0.43%, the Nasdaq dropped by 1.44%, and the Dow Jones edged 0.28% lower.
US futures, and the rest of Asia, have dropped this morning on the Ukraine nuclear power station fire situation, with all three indexes down around 0.80%. The contagion has spilt into the Nikkei 225, which has tumbled by 2.30%, while the Kospi has fallen by 1.15%.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite is 0.40% lower, while the CSI 300 has dropped by 0.65%. Hong Kong is in full retreat, complicated by their rapidly deteriorating Covid-19 situation and the weighting of China tech heavyweights, the Hang Seng has tumbled by 2.50%.
Regional Asia sees Singapore down 0.50% and Taipei down 0.80%. Commodity-heavy Jakarta, returning from holiday, has bucked the trend and risen by 0.80%, but Kuala Lumpur is 1.20% lower. Bangkok is down 0.90% and Manila by 0.40%. Australian markets are following sentiment and not commodity prices this morning, the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries retreating by 0.85%.
The Zaporizhzhia situation, despite the reactors being intact and the fire actually being outside of the perimeter, has opened a new thread of risk around the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It is likely to unnerve European markets meaning that the downward spiral seen yesterday is likely to continue this afternoon. US markets, conversely, remain at the mercy of fast-money flows trading headlines.
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