U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 snapping four-session winning streaks, on waning signs of progress for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia against a backdrop of a hawkish Federal Reserve curbing economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 65.38 points, or 0.19%, to 35,228.81, the S&P 500 lost 29.15 points, or 0.63%, to 4,602.45 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 177.36 points, or 1.21%, to 14,442.28.
Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday morning trade as oil prices fell sharply. In the broader Asia-Pacific markets, mainland Chinese stocks declined in morning trade as the Shanghai composite shed 0.26% while the Shenzhen component slipped 0.652%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan was near flat while the Topix index sat little changed. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.48%.
Key equity indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended in the green for the third consecutive session on March 30 as reports of talks between Russia and Ukraine continued underpinning market sentiment, boosting hopes that an end to the ongoing war was near. Sensex closed 740 points, 1.28 percent, higher at 58,683.99 while the Nifty settled with a gain of 173 points, or 1 percent, at 17,498.25.
At 8:20 am, the SGX Nifty was trading 203 points or 1.2 percent higher at 17,591, indicating a positive opening for the Indian markets.
Oil futures dived more than $5 a barrel on Thursday morning on news that the Biden administration is weighing releasing some 1 million barrels of oil per day from strategic reserves for several months in a bid to calm soaring crude prices. Brent futures were down $4.71, or 4.2%, to $108.58 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were down $5.45, or 5%, to $102.74 a barrel at 0035 GMT.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is now entering its sixth week but yet there is no material signs of an end to the war. As per Reuters, Russia said it would curtail operations near Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv to build trust at peace talks this week in Istanbul. But Ukraine and its Western allies, including the United States, dismissed Russia's pledge as a ploy to stem its losses and prepare for other attacks. Russia says its forces are regrouping to focus on "liberating" the breakaway eastern Donbas region.
Gold recovered from five week lows on March 30 amid decline in the dollar index and US bond yields. Gold April futures contract settled at $1933.50 per troy ounce with a gain of 1.11 percent.
Foreign and domestic institutional investors net bought Indian shares on Wednesday. Net purchases by FIIs stood at ₹1,357.5 crore and by DIIs at ₹1,216 crore, provisional exchange data showed.
The rupee gained 8 paise to close at 75.91 per dollar on March 30. Rupee moved higher as crude oil prices eased. Brent Crude traded below $110 a barrel. Gains in equity market also underpinned rupee's gains.