Asian stocks are mixed as OPEC stalls and US closes

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Updated on Monday July 5, 2021 | 23:36

TOKYO (AP) – Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday as oil prices surged after a meeting of oil-producing countries was postponed, and few others guided markets after the Independence Day holiday the United States.

The benchmarks in Japan and South Korea rose, while those of China and Australia declined.

Investors have reduced their holdings of shares of Chinese technology companies as Beijing tightens surveillance of the industry.

Talks between OPEC cartel members and allied oil-producing countries broke amid a standoff with the UAE over production levels.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark edged up 0.2% to 28,666.38. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3% to 3,302.59. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 fell 0.7% to 7,264.00. The Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 0.3% to 28,062.49, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.7% to 3,515.88.

In energy trading, US benchmark crude rose $ 1.55 to $ 76.71 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 31 cents to $ 77.47 a barrel.

“Rising energy costs could stoke inflationary pressures and prompt global central banks to temper emergency measures in the coming months,” ActivTrades’ Harpreet Bhal said in a comment.

With oil prices pushing towards $ 80 a barrel, this “increases the risk of a price war if the conflict escalates, as in March of last year,” Bhal said.

In Asia, the pandemic remains a major risk that could hamper recovery in some countries with new outbreaks of COVID-19, said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

“This comes as the vaccination rate in Asia lags far behind other regions, making lockdowns the option of choice for containing the spread of the virus,” Yeap said in a report.

Concerns about health risks are growing ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which begin later this month with 11,000 Olympians and 4,400 Paralympians entering Japan from more than 200 countries. Tens of thousands of judges, sponsors, dignitaries and media are also present.

The government is determined to move forward with the games, despite warnings from medical experts, promising border controls and restrictions on spectators to keep events safe.

While the public remains skeptical, with a majority opposed to hosting the Games this year, all protests have been stifled in a country known for its public order and decorum.

“It’s not even true that the global pandemic is a thing of the past. Yes, the media have largely ceased to make the headlines: vaccinations are on the rise; cases are down, ”said a report from RaboResearch.

“However, and very sadly, it looks like another big gamble is underway here as well. The vast majority of humanity has not been vaccinated.

In currency trading, the US dollar slipped to 110.80 Japanese yen from 110.95 yen. The euro cost $ 1.1892, compared to $ 1.1865.


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