Asia-Pacific stocks mixed amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

SINGAPORE – Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday morning trade as investors in the region continue to monitor tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Japanese stocks shed earlier gains and fell into negative territory, with the Nikkei 225 down 0.45% while the Topix index declined 0.38%.

Japan’s economy expanded 5.4% on an annualized basis in the final quarter of 2021, according to government data released Tuesday. Still, the quarterly annualized gross domestic product growth was below a median market forecast for a 5.8% gain, according to Reuters.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite 0.16% lower and the Shenzhen component advanced 0.295%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded 0.53% lower.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi rose fractionally while the S & P / ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.51%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.19% lower.

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Global markets have been kept on edge amid fears of a Russian attack on Ukraine, with the US closing its embassy in Kyiv.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 171.89 points to 34,566.17 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.38% to 4,401.67. The Nasdaq Composite was slightly changed at 13,790.92.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.21 following its bounce last week from levels below 95.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.32 per dollar, weaker than levels below 115.2 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7121, struggling to recover after last week’s decline from above $ 0.72.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.52% to $ 95.98 per barrel. US crude futures slipped 0.59% to $ 94.90 per barrel.

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