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Asian Stock Markets Mostly Decline Amid Saudi Arabia-Russia Oil Supply Cut Extension

Asian stock markets exhibited a mixed performance, with most indices closing on a negative note, as concerns mounted over the extension of oil supply cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia. Rising global oil prices have stoked fears of inflation and the potential for major economies to tighten their monetary policies.

In South Korea, the Composite (KOSPI) index recorded its second consecutive day of losses, closing at 2,563.34 points, down 18.84 points or -0.73%. The surge in oil prices raised inflation concerns, prompting apprehensions that leading economies might opt for further monetary policy tightening.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also ended lower at 18,449.98, down 6.93 points or -0.04%. Investors expressed worries that the ongoing rally in oil prices could undermine the Federal Reserve’s efforts to maintain inflation at the 2% target level, potentially leading to interest rate hikes.

China’s Shanghai Composite index, on the other hand, closed slightly higher at 3,160.84, marking a gain of 6.47 points or +0.21%. Investors keenly awaited China’s upcoming trade data release, as they sought insights into the trajectory of the world’s second-largest economy.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed at 7,257.10, down 57.20 points or -0.78%, while the All Ordinaries index finished at 7,461.60, down 55.20 points or -0.73%. Concerns loomed over the economic outlook in China following the release of lackluster economic data in both Europe and China. Investors closely assessed the interest rate trends set by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

Meanwhile, Tokyo’s Nikkei index continued its positive streak for the eighth consecutive day, closing at 33,241.02 points, up 204.26 points or +0.62%. Export-oriented stocks benefited from the yen’s depreciation against the US dollar.

These market movements underscore the delicate balance of factors influencing investor sentiment in the region, from oil prices and inflation concerns to central bank policies and exchange rate dynamics.

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