Oil prices up after Ukraine invasion, Nikkei up 1.96%

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Oil prices up after Ukraine invasion, Nikkei up 1.96%

Oil prices went up on Thursday after Russia invaded Ukraine, extending an overnight global rally.

Japan's Nikkei share average jumped by 1.96% in early trading. The broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.33%, while Australia's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.72%.

After the release of worse than expected trade data and extension of a lockdown in the city of Chengdu, Chinese blue chips were down slightly, and showed no let-up in the country's strict zero-COVID policy.

Gary Ng, senior economist at Natixis in Hong Kong said today it's a story of whether zero-COVID will affect the Chinese economy, which will have a spillover effect in terms of imports.

Markets are waiting for a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later today for signs of a let-up in the central bank's hawkish approach to tackling inflation.

I think Powell will signal that the decision for September hasn't been made yet, but the Fed will still be data dependent, NatWest Markets analyst Jan Nevruzi wrote in a note.

CME Group's Fedwatch tool shows that expectations for a third successive 75 basis-point interest rate hike are at 78%, up from 69% a week ago.

The yen was hovering at around 144 per dollar after weakening almost as far as 145 overnight. The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies of other major trading partners, was up to 109.76.

Oil prices recovered slightly after a overnight plunge, but fell below $90 a barrel for the first time since early February. U.S. crude was up 0.81% to $82.60 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 0.65 to $88.57 per barrel.

Spot gold prices fell by 0.1% to $1,716. The leading criptocurrency was down by 0.95% at $19,199 at the time of 04 an ounce.