Majority of Asian markets decreased in the first session of the week. On the other hand, Korean KOSPI and DJ New Zealand have managed to stay above the line.

Nikkei 225 and China A50 were the weakest, decreasing more than 1.5%. European markets are still closed on Monday, but Wall Street is proceeding as normal. Early morning, Nasdaq futures fell almost 1% and S&P 500 futures were more than 0.5% lower.

Economic news from China was mixed. GDP came higher at 4.8% YoY vs expectations at 4.2% YoY (4,0% YoY previously)

Retail sales fell more than expectations and were at -3.5% YoY for March. Industrial production increased but only by 5.0% YoY in comparison to the previous print of 7.5% YoY. However, it was still higher than expected 4.0% YoY. Fixed investments were higher than expected.

Energy prices have gained during the Asian session with NatGas surpassing 7.5 USD MMBTU. Oil and gas rose mainly due to threats coming from Russia’s war in Ukraine. There are speculations that the next sanctions package from EU will include some price and exports controls on Russian oil and there is a growing probability of an embargo of gas imports.

The price of oil increased to nearly 3 week high. Both benchmarks increased by around 1% early morning. Ahead of the holidays, both markets increased more than 2%. Over the weekend, Russians called for a surrender of Mariupol, but Ukrainians continue to defend their city. Russian authorities said that their forces had occupied almost the entire city.

The greenback is still strong but both yen and gold appreciated. The governor of BoJ, Kuroda said that an excessively weak yen is bad for the economy. However, after some time the USDJPY pair moved higher again.

Today we have a release of NAHB Housing market index from the US and at Wall Street closing, Bullard from the Fed will deliver a speech

Mixed sentiment during the Asian session and higher energy commodity prices led to declines in US contracts. The S&P 500 drops below the 38.2 Fibo retracement.