Volatility Expected For China Stock Market

BEIJING (dpa-AFX) – The China stock market has ended lower in five straight sessions, retreating almost 200 points or 5.8 percent in that span. The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just above the 3,290-point plateau and it’s expected to at least open lower on Wednesday, although it’s overdue for relief.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests volatility amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting surge in crude oil prices. The European markets were mixed and flat and the U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to split the difference.

The SCI finished sharply lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares, property stocks, resource companies and energy producers.

For the day, the index plunged 79.33 points or 2.35 percent to finish at 3,293.53 after trading between 3,287.34 and 3,383.63. The Shenzhen Composite Index tumbled 63.75 points or 1.89 percent to end at 2,139.67.

Among the actives, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.65 percent, while Bank of China dropped 0.96 percent, China Construction Bank skidded 1.15 percent, China Merchants Bank tanked 2.74 percent, Bank of Communications retreated 1.45 percent, China Life Insurance sank 3.60 percent, Jiangxi Copper plunged 6.34 percent, Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) stumbled 8.08 percent, Yankuang Energy plummeted 8.75 percent, PetroChina fell 0.67 percent, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) surrendered 2.76 percent, Huaneng Power declined 2.34 percent, China Shenhua Energy tumbled 4.40 percent, Gemdale slumped 1.92 percent, Poly Developments lost 2.10 percent, China Vanke cratered 4.69 percent, China Fortune Land was down 3.56 percent and Beijing Capital Development weakened 3.42 percent.

The lead from Wall Street ends up negative as the major averages opened slightly higher on Tuesday but then bounced back and forth across the unchanged line, finally ending with modest losses.

The Dow dropped 184.74 points or 0.56 percent to finish at 32,632.64, while the NASDAQ lost 35.41 points or 0.28 percent to close at 12,795.55 and the S&P 500 shed 30.39 points or 0.72 percent to end at 4,170.70.

The volatility on Wall Street came as crude oil prices continued to skyrocket as President Joe Biden officially announced a U.S. ban on the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Tuesday amid concerns about global oil supply after Biden announced a ban on import of Russian energy products. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $4.30 or 3.6 percent at $123.70 a barrel.

Gas stations are raising prices along with the spike in oil futures, as AAA said the average price for a gallon of gas has reached a record high of $4.173. The national average gas price is up by nearly $0.11 a gallon from just yesterday and up more than $0.55 a gallon from a week ago.

The higher gas prices are likely to weigh on consumer spending in other areas, potentially leading to an economic slowdown even as the Federal Reserve prepares to begin raising interest rates.

Closer to home, China will provide February numbers for consumer and producer prices later this morning. Overall inflation is tipped to add 0.3 percent on month and 0.9 percent on year after gaining 0.4 percent on month and 0.9 percent on year in January. Producer prices are expected to climb 8.7 percent on year, slowing from 9.1 percent in the previous month.

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