Asian markets fall as global investors worry about Russia-Ukraine tensions and upcoming Fed plans

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Asian stocks tumbled Tuesday, after a dramatically volatile day on Wall Street fueled by concerns over the US Federal Reserve’s plans to hike interest rates and tensions in Ukraine.

Markets in Asia Pacific fell sharply during morning trade, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and Japan’s benchmark Nikkei (N225) sliding 2.9% and 1.9%, respectively. South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI) dropped 2.3%.
Chinese markets were more muted, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) Index down 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) fell 1.6%.
    The dip in Asian markets comes after Europe saw a substantial selloff on Monday over escalating fears about the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) and Germany’s DAX (DAX) plunged as much as 4% and 3.8%, respectively, while London’s FTSE 100 (UKX) tumbled 2.6%.
      Meanwhile, US stocks seesawed dramatically as investors tried to make sense of a multitude of issues, from geopolitical tensions to an upcoming Fed meeting to earnings season. The ongoing fear of inflation also persists.
          Initially, stocks opened in the red on Monday, continuing a turbulent couple of days on Wall Street.
          At the low point of the session, the market was on track for its worst day since October 2020, with the Dow down more than 1,000 points.
          But with just minutes to go before close, the major indexes reversed course and turned green. The Dow (INDU) finished 0.3%, or 99 points, higher.
          The S&P 500 (SPX), the broadest measure of the US equities market, also ended up 0.3%.
          The Nasdaq Composite (COMP), which entered correction territory last week, closed up 0.6%.
          However, US futures pointed down overnight on Tuesday, with Dow futures, S&P 500 futures, and Nasdaq futures tracking 0.8%, 1.2% and 1.7% lower, respectively.

          A lot to digest

          Investors have a lot on their plate this week.
          Traders are anxiously watching the situation in Ukraine as fears mount that the country could be invaded by Russia.
          The news that the United States and United Kingdom are withdrawing some staff from the local embassies has led to fears over an escalation of the situation, according to Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
          “That’s really given European markets a really hard nudge lower,” he told CNN Business.
          In the United States, “stocks tried to claw their way back from a massive Monday liquidation that stemmed from rising fears of aggressive Fed tightening and on fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst of the Americas at Oanda.
          He noted in a report to clients on Monday that the mood had also spread to the oil market, as “uncertainty over coordinated efforts by Russia with Ukraine and China with Taiwan could lead to added risk aversion selling days in the coming weeks.”
          Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 0.7% on Tuesday to $ 86.89 a barrel.
          Investors are also on guard over earnings season, which has moved on to Big Tech, including Microsoft (MSFT), IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL) this week.
          Then there is the Fed meeting, concluding with Wednesday’s policy statement and subsequent press conference.
            Uncertainty around the Fed’s plans just drove Wall Street to its worst week since the start of the pandemic.
            — CNN Business’ Anneken Tappe and Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.

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