SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific shares fell on Thursday as investors continue to watch the escalating situation between Russia and Ukraine.
The Shanghai composite in mainland China fell 0.32% and the Shenzhen component dropped 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 1.3%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined by 0.73%, while the Topix slid by 0.5%.
South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.6%. The Bank of Korea kept interest rates unchanged at 1.25% at its meeting on Thursday. However, it predicted that consumer price inflation will run “substantially above 3% for a considerable time.”
Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 fell 2.78%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.62% lower.
On the earnings front, Alibaba will be reporting its third-quarter earnings late in Asia.
The crisis entered a new phase this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would formally recognize the independence of two pro-Moscow breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Russian state-controlled media reported that Moscow had started evacuating people from its embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.
Overnight on Wall Street, the three major indexes continued to fall. The S&P 500 fell 1.8% and slid deeper into correction, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.38% to 33,131.76. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite lost 2.6% to 13,037.49.