Asian shares mostly higher despite recession fears

BANGKOK – Stocks mainly in Asia were higher on Tuesday despite growing worries about recession risks as prices rallied while economies were still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

Most major markets rallied despite Hong Kong’s decline, weighed down by worries about Chinese property developers and regulatory crackdowns on technology companies.

Rising food and energy prices are raising concerns about how central banks will control inflation without hampering a resurgence in business activity following the doldrums caused by the coronavirus pandemic. beat the coronavirus outbreak.

The conflict in Ukraine, which has added to price pressure, shows no sign of abating as Russia mounts a long-feared, wide-ranging offensive seeking to seize control of eastern Ukraine.

“One of the biggest problems is that it is becoming increasingly rare to find dissenting voices in the global recession. The economic negativity is widespread and that alone could drive stock pickers away,” SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes said in a commentary.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent to 26,957.78 and Seoul’s Kospi gained 1 percent to 2,719.12. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5% to 7,560.60 while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.1% to 3,199.30.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.9% to 21,118.18, while India’s Sensex lost 0.1% to 57,110.32.

On Wall Street, stocks closed slightly lower after a wobbly trading day on Monday, as concerns about interest rates and inflation overshadowed some better-than-expected earnings reports.

The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% to 4,391.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1% to 34,411.69 and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.1% to 13,332.36.

Smaller stocks also faltered, with the Russell 2000 index falling 0.7% to 1,990.13.

Twitter jumped 7.5% in its first trading session since the company announced plans to make it more difficult for someone to take over after Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a bid to buy the company. . Musk wanted to buy the social media platform and go private, but the company made it difficult for him to amass more than 15% stake in it.

Stocks have struggled this year as highest inflation in generations forced the Federal Reserve to abandon the low-interest rate policies that have helped skyrocket markets and the economy in recent years. .

The central bank has raised short-term interest rates once and investors are hoping the bank will raise rates to double their usual levels in a few weeks, with more likely in the works.

Shares are generally bucking the trend with Treasury yields and 10-year yields near their highest levels since 2018, at 2.85% late Monday afternoon. Higher yields put downward pressure on all types of investments, from gold to cryptocurrencies, and stocks considered the most expensive, such as those of tech companies, tend to suffer. hardest hit.

The counterweight is some better-than-expected earnings reports. Bank of America rose 3.4% after reporting stronger-than-expected profit.

Analysts are forecasting growth of about 5% for S&P 500 companies, the slowest since late-2020, according to FactSet. Much of that is because it’s difficult to keep profits growing at such a high rate after a year of better than 30% growth.

Energy producers continue to win big from higher oil and gas prices. The war in Ukraine is pushing up US gas demand as European customers try to turn away from Russian supplies. Natural gas spiked on Monday, with prices in the U.S. up 7.1% and near the highest level since 2008.

U.S. benchmark oil prices rose 26 cents on Tuesday to $108.47 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.2% to $108.21 a barrel on Monday.

Brent crude, the international pricing benchmark, rose 58 cents to $113.74 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar rose to 127.90 Japanese yen from 126.99 yen. The euro fell to $1.0778 from $1.0781.

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