Wall Street drops in pre-market after Asian losses

A currency trader watches monitors in the trading room of KEB Hana Bank's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 18, 2022. Stocks were weaker in Asia after China announced on Monday that its economy increased at an annual rate of 4.8% in January.  -March.  (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A currency trader watches monitors in the trading room of KEB Hana Bank’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 18, 2022. Stocks were weaker in Asia after China announced on Monday that its economy increased at an annual rate of 4.8% in January. -March. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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U.S. markets were pointing to losses ahead of Monday’s open after Asian markets fell after China reported its economy grew at an annual rate of 4.8% in January-March.

S&P 500 futures fell 0.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Shanghai. Seoul rose slightly. Markets in Europe and Hong Kong and Sydney were closed for the holidays.

Wall Street benchmarks fell last week before closing for the Easter holiday.

China’s growth fell well below the official target of 5.5% for 2022. In quarterly terms, the economy grew 1.3% in the first quarter, compared to 1.4% in the last quarter of 2021.

Authorities have ordered lockdowns in some major cities, including Shanghai, to battle the country’s worst coronavirus outbreaks since it erupted into a pandemic in March 2020. But the biggest impact of the lockdowns will likely be felt during the current quarter.

“Overall, the data suggests that China has started the year well, but as the quarter progresses, headwinds have strengthened,” Oanda’s Jeffrey Halley said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5% to 3,195.52. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.1% to 26,799.71 while Seoul’s Kospi edged down 0.1% to 2,693.21. The Indian Sensex fell 2.2%.

As trade resumed in some global markets on Monday, attention focused on Ukraine, where Ukrainian fighters were resisting capture of their shattered city of Mariupol after a 7-week siege, ignoring an ultimatum to surrender or death of Russia.

The fall of Mariupol would be Moscow’s biggest victory in the war and free up troops to take part in a potentially decisive battle for control of Ukraine’s industrial east.

Ukraine was sending top officials to Washington for this week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank amid dire warnings about the impact of the Russian invasion on the global economy.

A World Bank official said on Friday that Ukraine’s prime minister, finance minister and central bank governor were coming. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the visit had not been officially announced.

The conflict has pushed up the prices of oil and other commodities, making it harder for policymakers trying to recover from the pandemic while curbing inflation that is at 40-year highs in many countries.

Central banks are raising interest rates that had remained at historic lows to counter the devastation of the pandemic to curb rising prices. But it can also discourage a recovery in the spending and investment needed to drive the recovery.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost most of its early gains on Monday, rising 2 cents to $106.97 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose $2.70 to $106.95 a barrel on Thursday, before closing for Good Friday.

Brent crude, the pricing basis for international oils, climbed 26 cents to $111.96 a barrel.

In currency trading, the dollar rose to 126.59 Japanese yen from 126.44 yen on Friday night. The Euro rose slightly to $1.0808 from $1.0807.

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