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Asian shares rise amid Russia-Ukraine talks

written by Bella Palmer
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Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 advanced 1.6% to 26,953.42, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 soared 1.3% to 7,140.90, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3% to 3,471.55

Asian shares rose Tuesday as global investors eyed talks aimed at ending the Russian military assault on Ukraine, which so far have yielded just an agreement to keep talking.

Benchmarks were higher in early trading in Tokyo, Sydney and Shanghai. Hong Kong declined and markets were closed in South Korea for a holiday.

Surging oil prices and increasing financial pressure from the U.S. and allies on Russia, one of the world’s largest energy exporters, for its invasion of Ukraine are adding to uncertainty about the global economic outlook.

The end game continues to elude. While the ceasefire talks at the Belarus-Ukraine border ended, the military fires certainly have not ended by any means alongside sanctions being raised further, Tan Boon Heng at Mizuho Bank in Singapore said in a commentary.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 advanced 1.6% in morning trading to 26,953.42. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 soared 1.3% to 7,140.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.1% to 22,677.45, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3% to 3,471.55. Trading was closed in South Korea for a national holiday.

Asian equities were higher on Tuesday mirroring a mild rebound on Wall Street and following talks between Russia and Ukraine. The market’s focus will continue to be on geopolitical tensions, at least in the short term, Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report.

The value of the Russian ruble plunged to a record low after Western countries moved to block some Russian banks from a key global payments system. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced more sanctions against Russia’s central bank.

Early Tuesday, the ruble was down 3.2% at 104.51 to the dollar. The Moscow Stock Exchange was closed.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500, dropped 1.6% and then recouped much of that to finish 0.2% lower at 4,373.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.5% to 33,892.60 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.4% to 13,751.40, recovering from a 1.1% slide.

The Biden administration said Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, European Union and others will join the U.S. in hitting Russia’s central bank.

Right now the situation is fluid and investors are looking for the next shoe to drop, said Barry Bannister, chief equity strategist at Stifel.

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