Recession, currencies, oil, Russian debt

SINGAPORE – Shares in the Asia-Pacific traded higher on Monday as investors assess inflation and recession fears.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 2.13%, with the Hang Seng Tech index up 3.46%. Alibaba’s shares in the Chinese city rose 4.13% while Meituan was up 4.09%.

Mainland Chinese markets also gained. The Shanghai Composite climbed 0.56%, and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.766%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 hovered around 1%, while the Topix rose 0.78%. In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 advanced 1.69%.

The Kospi in South Korea gained 1.73%, and the Kosdaq was 2.78% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares rose 1.51%.

Russia defaulted on foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in more than 100 years, Bloomberg reported. The country’s central bank foreign reserves remain frozen.

In company news, Trip.com is set to report its first-quarter financial results on Monday in the US after the market closes.

Later this week, China and Japan will be reporting Purchasing Managers’ Index data, while Hong Kong will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its handover. China’s President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Hong Kong for the occasion, state media Xinhua reported over the weekend.

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On Friday in the US, stocks rallied to snap previous losing streaks.

“It just highlights the fact that markets are going to be very volatile until we do pass that peak in inflation and the outlook for central banks being as hawkish as they are,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

He said markets tend to be choppy as many central banks in developed economies enter a new cycle for rate hikes.

“It’s when you have clarity on that path forward, then you start to refocus on the fundamentals,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.

Futures fell slightly on Sunday night following last week’s comeback.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104,010.

The Japanese yen traded at 134.61 per dollar, strengthening from levels above 136 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.6920.

Oil futures fell in Asia in early trade on Monday. US crude dropped 0.33% to $ 107.27 per barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude slid 0.11% to $ 113 per barrel.

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