The Hong Kong Telegraph - Oil sinks over China demand fears, stocks mixed on Ukraine talks

Hong Kong -


Oil sinks over China demand fears, stocks mixed on Ukraine talks
Oil sinks over China demand fears, stocks mixed on Ukraine talks

Oil sinks over China demand fears, stocks mixed on Ukraine talks

World oil prices dived Monday as Shanghai's phased Covid lockdown reignited fears over Chinese energy demand.

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US benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil and Europe's London Brent crude both slumped by more than six percent in value.

Stock markets were mixed, with traders hoping for progress in ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Shares in Paris and Frankfurt closed moderately higher, while the FTSE 100 in London was only marginally down.

Wall Street was also trading slightly lower in mid-morning deals.

"Broadly speaking, stock markets remain in a consolidatory phase and have been for almost a couple of weeks but they've certainly received a mild boost at the start of the week," Craig Erlam from OANDA said.

"Whether that can be sustained or not may well depend on whether we can see progress in talks this week."

Gains were tempered by the Shanghai lockdown that also stoked concern over strained supply chains.

Millions of people in China's financial hub were confined to their homes on Monday as the eastern half of Shanghai went into lockdown to curb the country's biggest ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Authorities are imposing a two-phase lockdown of the city of about 25 million people to carry out mass testing.

The news impacts the global oil market because China is the world's biggest crude consumer.

"A certain portion of the declines we're seeing in the commodity space, most notably oil, can be attributed to the lockdowns we're seeing in China and the impact they'll have on both activity and demand in the near term," Erlam said.

"While that can be viewed as a positive from an oil perspective considering the supply/demand imbalance and very high price, it isn't a sustainable solution, nor a desirable one," he added.

With Russia's Ukraine invasion now in its second month, investors are hoping the two sides will be able to make inroads on ending the crisis when they meet in Turkey.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the first round of in-person talks since March 10 -- due to open in Istanbul on Tuesday after near-daily video contacts -- must bring peace "without delay".

Ukrainian "neutrality", and the future status of Donbas, could be in the mix for the Istanbul meeting.

Meanwhile, growing expectations that the US Federal Reserve will become increasingly aggressive in its drive to bring down inflation continue to dampen sentiment, with Treasury yields -- a gauge of future interest rates -- surging.

While stock markets have managed to remain resilient in the face of heightened uncertainty, concerns that the Fed will ramp up interest rates continue to cast a pall.

- Key figures around 1550 GMT -

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 6.4 percent at $106.56 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 6.1 percent at $113.31 per barrel

New York - DOW: DOWN 0.8 percent at 34,569.33

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,473.14 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.8 percent at 14,417.37 points (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 6,589.11 points (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,887.10

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 percent at 27,943.89 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.3 percent at 21,684.97 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 3,214.50 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0971 from $1.0983 late Friday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3088 from $1.3182

Euro/pound: UP at 83.84 pence from 83.31 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 123.40 yen from 122.05 yen