Equites Counted Loss, U.S. Futures Climbed while Crude Oil Dipped as Investors Weigh Econ and Geo-Political Actions

Asian equites remained largely down on Thursday as investors weighs impact of COVID-19 restrictions in Chinese cities which are deemed to be major tech and manufacturing hubs.

China’s activity in factory and services sectors contracted in March, according to an official survey showed on Thursday. The contraction comes for the first time since the peak of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

Stocks in Mainland China parred large losses while Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan closed in red. South Korea however remained afloat marginally on the positive.

Futures contracts in the U.S. are gained at open.

Treasuries added to gains across the curve, while a portion of the curve has pulled out of a brief inversion that raised concerns about an impending recession. The dollar held a retreat.

The U.S. has intelligence suggesting Russian Russian President Vladimir Putin military officials was mislead over the preparation and the conduct of the war in Ukraine citing advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, according to White House.

Reports that Washington is preparing a plan to release roughly a million barrels of oil a day helped reverse a rebound in crude. The news comes ahead of an OPEC+ supply meeting later Thursday, where the cartel is expected to stick with its strategy of a modest output boost in May. Crude oil WTI is trading around $101 a barrel while Brent is trading around $106 a barrel.