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Picture: BLOOMBERG/SOICHIRO KORIYAMA
Picture: BLOOMBERG/SOICHIRO KORIYAMA

Singapore — Asian stocks ticked up to their highest in more than a month supported by broad gains on Wall Street on Tuesday, while the euro was stuck near a one-week low against the dollar amid talk of more sanctions against Moscow.

The US and Europe were planning new sanctions to punish Moscow over civilian killings in Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelensky warned more deaths were likely to be uncovered in areas seized from Russian invaders.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded up 0.16% to 601.3, the strongest since February 24. The benchmark has lost 4% so far this year, dragged by big declines in Chinese shares.

US stocks ended higher on Monday, driven by tech shares.

“Prime broking data in the US continues to indicate the recent recovery in equities is being driven by retail money, which is likely squeezing those who were under positioned or positioned short,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at NAB, said in a note.

“Profit reporting season in the US kicks off next week and it will be interesting to see how firms are interpreting the tea leaves, and whether earnings guidance is revised down,” he said.

Global stocks have had a volatile quarter as the Russia-Ukraine crisis and worries over higher commodity prices fuel inflation concerns and cloud the direction of interest rates.

Japan’s Nikkei traded flat, the S&P/ASX 200 index was 0.5% higher while South Korean stocks shed 0.2%.

S&P 500 stock futures eased 0.08% and Nasdaq futures slipped 0.06% after Wall Street rose on Monday.

Markets in mainland China and Hong Kong were closed for a public holiday on Tuesday. Shanghai went into a two-stage lockdown last week as authorities worked to contain the city’s biggest Covid-19 outbreak.

Market focus will be on Australia’s central bank’s guidance on its response to inflationary pressures though it is expected to hold rates steady at its review later on Tuesday. The Aussie was steady at $0.7543, staying close to Monday’s high of $0.75565, a level not seen since July 6.

Europe’s single currency was little changed at $1.0973 after dropping as low as $1.0960 in the previous session for the first time since March 28

Global markets are looking to Wednesday’s release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting that could offer signs that the US central bank could raise its benchmark overnight interest rate by half a percentage point next month.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3% on Monday, the S&P 500 gained 0.81% and the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.9%. Twitter shares surged 27% on news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has built a 9.2% stake in the micro blogging site.

Oil futures rose in early trading as the potential for more sanctions added to concerns about supply disruptions, while Iran nuclear talks stalled.

Brent crude futures gained 1.6% to $109.25 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate futures were also up 1.6%.

Gold prices ticked down, with spot gold easing 0.1% to $1,929.6 an ounce.

Reuters

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