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24 Mar 2022

Asian Shares Turn Volatile as Oil Drops amid Looming Ukraine-Russia Concerns

The Index Today

Asian shares turned volatile on Thursday as oil inched down over lingering concerns about the ongoing geopolitical tensions between Ukraine and Russia and the resulting hawkish outlook of the U.S. Federal Reserve, prompting investor fears amid slowing diplomatic talks.

According to Reuters, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recovered part of its initial losses by 3:36am ET. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped by 0.3% as mainland China’s blue-chip index edged lower by 0.6%. Japan was able to recoup its losses and edged higher by 0.25% and ended the session by reaching a nine-week high.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said, "It is still a relatively volatile market, [which] suggests that these ripping moves in stocks ought to be treated with caution."

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to attend an exigent NATO summit to discuss potential additional sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine in February. The Federal Reserve continues to opt for a more hawkish stance with policymakers looking to raise interest rates by a half point percentage at the next Fed policy meeting in May to counter soaring inflation.

Barclays’ analysts contended, "We expect limited upside to U.S. equities. The Fed is clearly prioritizing fighting inflation, and while not our base case, risks of stagflation have increased."

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