Title: Asian Stocks Up, Investors Remain Concerned Over Geopolitical Risks
Feb 22, 2022 10:19 PM ET
Stock markets in Asia and the Pacific rose on Wednesday morning as geopolitical risks stemming from tensions between Russia and Ukraine overshadowed markets.
Japanese markets are closed for a public holiday.
South Korea's KOSPI index rose 0.11 percent. The Bank of Korea will announce its monetary policy decision on Thursday.
Australia's ASX 200 index rose by 0.3 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index increased by 0.51%.
China's Shanghai Composite index increased by 0.54%, while its Shenzhen component increased by 0.97%. In China, Huarong Asset Management Co. and other companies are buying properties from distressed developers to stabilize the economy. They also plan to buy or restructure smaller lenders.
US President Joe Biden announced measures aimed at selling Russian government bonds abroad and to the country's elite after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian troops to keep the peace in two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
Biden said the US would impose tougher sanctions if Russia continued its aggression.
The commodities rally was also in focus for investors, who highlighted the economic risks of inflation. They fear tensions in Ukraine could affect commodity supplies, leading to gains in energy, wheat, and nickel. Oil prices were steady as investors assessed the possible return of Iranian barrels if the country reaches a nuclear deal with world powers.
The market was pressured by geopolitical risks and the prospect of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve to fight inflation. Investors expect the Fed to raise interest rates due to rising commodity costs as a result of tensions in Ukraine.
New Zealand's central bank has raised interest rates for the third month in a row and announced plans for a higher-than-expected rate to curb inflation.