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Asia-Pacific stocks fell as Russia-Ukraine tensions continue

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Shares in Asia-Pacific primarily fell in Friday trade, as tensions between Ukraine and Russia keep investors on edge.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.24%, cutting losses after dropping more than 1.1% earlier. The Topix index fell 0.22%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi declined 0.22%.

Chinese stocks appeared mixed as the Shanghai composite suspended above the flatline. The Shenzhen component framed 0.365% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.49%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.56%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares traded 0.38% lower.

The current Russia-Ukraine crisis is pivotal, with Kyiv blaming pro-Moscow separatists for attacking a village near the border.

Worries of a Russian attack on Ukraine have pushed investors toward safe-haven assets such as gold. Spot gold was last at $1,890.14 per ounce, following its rise earlier in the week from below $1,861.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.17 per dollar. It is still stronger than levels above 115.7, seen against the greenback earlier this week.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 622.25 points to 34,312.04. The S&P 500 fell 2.13% to 4,380.26, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.89% to 13,716.73.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine continued to cause geopolitical tensions across the region. Shares in Asia-Pacific primarily declined in Friday trade, as the tensions between Ukraine and Russia kept investors on edge. Russia’s decision to deploy troops in Ukraine has led to a suspension of military cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. has also warned Russia against making “incorrect” moves in Ukraine while stating that it won’t intervene militarily.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index was at 95.808 after falling from above 97 earlier this week.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7206, above an earlier low of $0.7176.

Oil prices appeared lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.57% to $92.46 per barrel. U.S. crude futures fell 0.76% to $91.08 per barrel.

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