Asian markets, crude drop on China Covid unrest




  • In Business
  • 2022-11-28 03:06:37Z
  • By AFP
 

Stocks and oil prices sank Monday on concerns about protests across China at the government's hardline zero-Covid policy, fuelling uncertainty in the world's number two economy.

Hundreds of people took to the streets at the weekend after a deadly fire in the Xinjiang region on Thursday served as a catalyst for public anger, with many blaming virus lockdowns for hampering the rescue effort.

People have taken to the streets in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu calling for an end to lockdowns as well as greater political freedoms in the highest-profile protests in China in years. The demonstrations come after an easing of some measures had fuelled hopes of a lighter pandemic approach.

China-linked stocks took the brunt of selling, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down more than three percent and Shanghai off more than one percent. The yuan was off more than one percent.

There were also losses in Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Wellington.

"Sentiment has turned sour as unrest across China grows," said SPI Asset Management's Stephen Inne. "Protest of this extent is rare in the country and raises many uncertainties.

"The best scenario is further easing and reopening, but the speed at how things deteriorated over the weekend suggests the government needs to act fast. The risk of the situation escalating from here and short-term volatility remains high."

And Ken Cheung, of Mizuho Bank, added: "It appears that the zero-Covid policy is reaching its tipping point. More easing or refinement on the Covid measures will be needed to curb discontent."

The prospect of a hit to demand in the world's biggest crude importer hammered oil prices, with both main contracts down more than two percent.

The selling has taken a bit out of recent gains across markets in recent weeks sparked by hopes of a slowdown in the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes as inflation finally shows signs of softening.

However, some observers said the protests could provide long-term benefits as they could force President Xi Jinping to shift away from his strict, economically damaging measures sooner.

Teneo Holdings' Gabriel Wildau said: "I don't expect Xi to publicly admit error or show weakness, but this wave of protests could cause the leadership to decide privately that the exit needs to proceed more quickly than previously planned."

Investors are now looking ahead to the release of US jobs data at the end of the week, which could provide clues about the Fed's next moves, while speeches by central bank boss Jerome Powell and other key policymakers will also be pored over.

- Key figures around 0230 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 28,107.79 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 3.2 percent at 17,016.92

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.5 percent at 3,056.38

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0359 from $1.0403 on Friday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 138.47 yen from 139.03 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2044 from $1.2087

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.01 pence from 86.03 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.5 percent at $74.36 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.5 percent at $81.65 per barrel

New York - Dow: UP 0.5 percent at 34,347.03 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,486.67 (close)

dan/lb

COMMENTS

More Related News

Ukraine: US sanctions Chinese firm helping Russia
Ukraine: US sanctions Chinese firm helping Russia's Wagner Group

Spacety China allegedly supplied satellite imagery of Ukraine to support Wagner's combat operations.

House GOP seeks new restrictions on use of US oil stockpile
House GOP seeks new restrictions on use of US oil stockpile
  • US
  • 2023-01-27 05:07:14Z

For the second time this month, House Republicans are seeking to restrict presidential use of the nation's emergency oil stockpile - a proposal that has...

Japan, Netherlands to Join US in Chip Controls on China
Japan, Netherlands to Join US in Chip Controls on China

(Bloomberg) -- Japan and the Netherlands are poised to join the US in limiting China's access to advanced semiconductor machinery, forging a powerful...

South Korea extends restrictions on travelers from China
South Korea extends restrictions on travelers from China
  • US
  • 2023-01-27 03:29:42Z

South Korea says it will continue to restrict the entry of short-term travelers from China through the end of February over concerns that the spread of COVID...

Oil prices advance on U.S. growth, Chinese recovery hope
Oil prices advance on U.S. growth, Chinese recovery hope

(Reuters) -Oil prices edged ahead for a second session on Friday, buoyed by stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth and hopes of a rapid recovery in...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • cbd oil drug test
    (2022-11-29 11:26:39Z)

    Asian markets and crude prices both dropped today on news of unrest in China over the coronavirus outbreak. China is the world's second-largest economy and a major importer of crude, so any news of unrest there is likely to have an impact on markets around the world.

    REPLY

Top News: Business