Asian shares slid on Monday as China imposed a lockdown in Shanghai, following a drastic rise in fresh Covid infections.
Chinese blue chips shed 0.8 percent. Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.4 percent but is still almost six percent firmer for the month as a sinking yen promised to boost exporter earnings.
S&P 500 stock futures eased 0.3 percent, while Nasdaq futures slipped 0.4 percent.
Indian shares also followed Asian peers lower on Monday.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.71 percent at 17,030.85, as of 0505 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.77 percent to 56,918.51. Both indexes were headed for their fourth straight session of losses.
China’s financial hub of Shanghai launched a planned two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million people on Monday, closing bridges and tunnels and restricting highway traffic in a scramble to contain surging local Covid cases.
Covid impact: Copper slips, nickel slumps
Copper dipped on Monday on worries that an increase in COVID-19 infections in top metals consumer China would hit demand while nickel slumped in thin trading amid uncertainty about short positions in the market.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.4 percent to $10,225 a ton in official open-outcry trading, the third session of losses.
Benchmark LME nickel slid 8 percent shortly after the open, but avoided its 15 percent daily price limit after volatile recent trading. It pared losses to $34,040 a ton in official activity, down 4.1 percent.
BOE Governor sees risks from commodity trading frenzy
Huge swings in commodity prices mean resilience in financial markets cannot be taken for granted and authorities are watching the situation very closely, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Monday.
Prices across gas, oil, metals and agricultural markets have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and have become so volatile that companies have had to cut traded volumes owing to strained liquidity.
“Liquidity conditions have deteriorated in many commodity markets, margining costs have risen, which is of course a reflection of much higher volatility and risks in these markets,” Bailey told an event at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels.
“We can’t take resilience, in particular in that part of the market, for granted. There’s a strong need to work together on this,” he said.
Wheat, corn ease
Chicago wheat and corn futures lost ground on Monday, as traders squared off positions ahead of a widely watched US planting intentions report due later this week.
The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped 2.45 percent to $10.65-3/4 a bushel, and corn was down 1.23 percent at $7.44-3/4 a bushel.
Soybeans fell 0.7 percent to $16.98-1/4 a bushel.
Gold prices drop
Gold prices fell on Monday as the dollar index gained and US Treasury yields held firm near multi-month highs, with investor focus on potential Russia-Ukraine peace talks this week further dimming bullion’s safe-haven appeal.
Spot gold was down 0.7 percent at $1,943.72 per ounce at 0426 GMT.
US gold futures were down 0.5 percent at $1,943.50.
The dollar index strengthened to its highest in more than one week, making gold more expensive for other currency holders.
The greenback benefited from its status as a safe haven and the conflict in Ukraine that has driven expectations the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates.