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4 Mar 2022

Asian Stocks Plunge to 16-Month Low Levels amid Fire at Ukrainian Nuclear Plant

Asian Stocks Plunge to 16-Month Low Levels amid Fire at Ukrainian Nuclear Plant

The Index Today

Asian stocks hit a 16-month low on Friday after a fire broke out at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine following an attack by Russian forces. Oil prices continue to surge while the euro dropped.

RIA News reported that the Ukrainian ministry of atomic energy revealed that a generating unit at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — the largest in Europe — had been struck during attacks by Russian troops.

Although the site has been safely contained with no immediate indication of possible changes in radiation levels, investors continue to remain wary. OCBC Bank’s Executive Director of Investment Strategy, Vasu Menon said, "Markets are worried about nuclear fallout. The risk is that there is a miscalculation or overreaction and the war prolongs."

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped by 1.6% to 585.5, the lowest since November, 2020. Asian stock markets have turned turbulent with Hong Kong plummeting by 2.7%, Japan down by 2.6%, and South Korea and China dipping by 1.3% and 0.7% respectively. Oil prices, on the other hand, soared on Friday with Brent crude futures for May hitting as high as $114.23 per barrel.

According to David Goodman of Aware Super, “We are still talking about very strong global growth, we are still rebounding, reopening from the pandemic, we still have confidence in the consumer outlook."

©Photo: AP