Equites and Futures Gained; Crude Oil Dipped Ahead of Strategic Reserve Release

Asian equities retreated from loss ending the week on a positive note, after jitters from Russia-Ukraine war and renewed COVID-19 curbs in China.

Mainland China equities gained sharply at closing while Hong Kong and Thailand gained. South Korea and Japan closed at loss marginally.

Manufacturing activity in Japan grew at a faster pace  in March than of the prior month, boosted by domestic demand and waning impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, activity in the manufacturing sector saw sharp decline in new export orders as external demand suffered from pandemic curbs in China and Russia-Ukraine war which cause supply chai disruption and price pressure to worsen.

Trading of 33 Hong Kong listed stocks has been halted on Friday after a number of firms missed deadline to report annual results adding more uncertainty to the market.

U.S. futures contracts gained. The two-year treasury yield gained after a 150 basis-point surge that’s the most since 1984. Ten-year rates slipped, narrowing the spread to shorter tenors, as investors remain on edge over the threat a restrictive Federal Reserve will cause a recession.

Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded foreign buyers to pay for Russian gas in roubles from Friday or else will have their supplies cut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, together called OPEC+, stuck to plans to add a modest 432,000 barrels per day of supply in May, despite western pressure on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to use their spare capacity to boost output further.

International Energy Agency (IEA) member countries are set to meet  on Friday to discuss a further emergency oil release that would follow their March 1 agreement to release around 60 million barrels.

Following the movements crude oil gained with WTI trading around $100 a barrel while Brent trading around $105 a barrel.