Economy

Ukraine Conflict Day 2: Asian, US stocks rebound; oil prices slip; cryptos are on the rise

Follow-ups -eshrag News:

Fri, 2022-02-25 09:56

RIYADH: Asian shares mostly rose Friday after US stocks recovered toward the end of a wild trading day, as governments slapped sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic briefly jumped above $100 per barrel on Thursday to their highest levels since 2014. But they gave back some of those gains after US President Joe Biden said the sanctions package is “specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue.” Biden also said he wanted to limit the economic pain for Americans.

US and European officials are holding one key financial sanction against Russia in reserve, choosing not to boot Russia off SWIFT, the dominant system for global financial transactions, AP is reporting.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine caused a barrage of new financial sanctions Thursday. The sanctions are meant to isolate, punish and impoverish Russia in the long term. Biden announced restrictions on exports to Russia and sanctions against Russian banks and state-controlled companies.

But Biden played down the need to block Russia from SWIFT, saying that while it’s “always” still an option, “right now that’s not the position that the rest of Europe wishes to take.” He also suggested the sanctions being put in place would have more teeth.

On Friday, US benchmark crude WTI jumped $1.30 to $94.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the basis for international oil prices, added $1.97 to $101.05 a barrel.

Bitcoin trades at $38,688, increasing by 10.94 percent, while Ether trades at $2,633, up by 12.20 percent, as of 9:42 a.m. Saudi time

Global shares:

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 1.9 percent in afternoon trading to 26,450.84.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost some of its earlier gains to close 0.1 percent higher at 6,997.80.

South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.2 percent to 2,679.56.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged down 0.4 percent to 22,821.87, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7 percent to 3,452.84.

Oil and gas:

Crude oil rose back above $100 a barrel on Friday as Russian troops closed in on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv following a day of market volatility prompted by Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.

Brent crude gained 2.1 percent to $101.18 a barrel at 11.43 a.m. Riyadh time after nearing $106 on Thursday before falling back to $99 as US sanctions spared Russian energy exports. US benchmark WTI added 1.7 percent to $94.34 a barrel.

European natural gas prices eased about 19 percent to €109 ($121.90) per megawatt hour after reaching €142 on Thursday.

Markets

Europe and US markets for initial public offerings have been effectively shut amid Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

This comes ahead of what was expected to be a busy March for bankers after a slow start to the year, Bloomberg reported.

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