World shares were mixed Tuesday after the European Union agreed to embargo most Russian oil imports by the year’s end, sparking a fresh spike in oil prices.
Shares fell in Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo but rose in London and Shanghai. U.S. futures edged lower ahead of the reopening of trading on Wall Street following Monday’s Memorial Day holiday.
Oil prices were trading near $120 per barrel following the agreement by EU leaders to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc as part of new sanctions against Moscow.
The pact was worked out at a summit focused on helping Ukraine with a long-delayed package of new financial support. The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline. That was crucial to bring landlocked Hungary on board a decision that required consensus.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained $4.07 to $119.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 98 cents to $115.07 per barrel on Monday.
Brent crude, used as the basis for pricing for international trading, advanced $2.48 to $120.08 per barrel.
Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% to 14,531.08 and the CAC 40 in Paris declined 0.5% to 6,531.20. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 7,636.87. The futures for the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 edged 0.1% lower.
China’s easing of anti-virus curbs on businesses in Shanghai and Beijing has raised hopes for stronger growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
An official survey of showed factory activity picking up in May though still below the level of 50 indicating expansion on a scale up to 100. The main manufacturing purchasing managers index, or PMI rose to 49.6 from 47.4 in April.
“The PMIs probably understate the scale of recovery this month given that the surveys mostly took place prior to when most restrictions in Shanghai were relaxed,” Sheana Yue of Capital Economics said in a report. “We suspect that the hard data due over the coming weeks will reveal a stronger recovery.”
More factories, shops and other businesses are being allowed to reopen this week in Shanghai and in the Chinese capital, Beijing, after authorities declared outbreaks under control. The Shanghai city government promised rent and tax cuts, faster approvals for construction projects and more subsidies for electric car purchases.
The Shanghai Composite index gained 1.2% to 3,186.43 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 1.4% to 21,415.20.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3% to 27,279.80, while the Kospi in Seoul gained 0.6% to 2,685.90.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1% to 7,211.20. Shares rose in Taiwan but fell in India.
Wall Street’s S&P 500 index ended up 6.6% for the week on Friday.
Investors were relieved after Commerce Department data showed U.S. inflation, which has prompted the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, decelerated to 6.3% over a year earlier in April, its first decline in 17 months.
But worries remain over whether the Fed can control inflation that is running at a four-decade high without tipping the biggest global economy into recession.
Crude oil prices are up 60% this year due to fears about disruptions in supplies from Russia, the second-biggest global exporter. Wheat prices are up about 50% and corn prices are up 30%.
In other trading, the dollar rose to 127.78 Japanese yen from 127.55 yen late Monday. The euro fell to $1.0742 from $1.0778.
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