Saturday 24 February 2018

All quiet on Asian front as Ukraine fears bring caution

Passers-by are reflected in an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passers-by are reflected in an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Shinichi Saoshiro

ASIAN stock markets were subdued yesterday as tensions in Ukraine kept investors cautious amid an absence of catalysts as several markets remained closed for the Easter holiday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1pc. Japan's Nikkeistock average rose 0.3pc on foot of a weaker yen.

Share markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt were closed for Easter. New York markets were little changed.

Tensions in Ukraine, signs of slowing growth in China and uncertainty over when the US Federal Reserve would tighten interest rates have buffeted global markets, although Fed chair Janet Yellen's dovish comments last week soothed nerves.

Chinese shares slipped on concerns over potential new listings diluting the market after the securities regulator released draft prospectuses for new companies planning to list.

The CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was down 0.4pc, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3pc.

The dollar edged up to a two-week high against the yen after data showed Japan posted its largest-ever trade deficit in the fiscal year through March 2014 due to soaring energy imports.

Analysts said signs that the US economy had shaken off disruptions caused by harsh winter weather would help the US currency in the longer run.

The euro was at $1.3818, little changed from last week.

In the commodity markets, gold initially edged higher as the Ukraine sparked some safe-haven buying but fell to a two-week low. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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