investors watch Russia-Ukraine war, Covid wave in China

SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a lower start on Monday, as investors continue monitoring developments around the Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid wave in China.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 25,090 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 24,910. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 25,162.78.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.18% in morning trade.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which is disrupting shipping and air freight, is likely to continue weighing on investor sentiment. Elsewhere, markets will also monitor a recent wave of Covid infections in China — including the major city of Shenzhen.

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The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce a rate hike later this week, the first such move since 2018.

In Asia, the Bank of Japan is also set to announce its monetary policy decision later in the week.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.034 after its recent bounce from below 98.

The Japanese yen traded at 117.56 per dollar after last week’s weakening from below 116 against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.7296 after slipping from above $0.732 late last week.