Asia stocks mixed as investors assess Russia-Ukraine tensions
SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday, as investors in the region continued to assess the risk from simmering tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.41% to close at 27,122.07, trimming losses after declining more than 1% earlier, while the Topix index dipped 0.36% to 1,924.31. Over in South Korea, the Kospi ended the trading day little changed at 2,744.52.
Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher as the Shanghai composite gained 0.66% to 3,490.76 and the Shenzhen component climbed 0.274% to 13,459.68. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped about 1%, as of its final hour of trading.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.02% lower at 7,221.70.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.45% lower.
Fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine have driven investors toward safe-haven assets such as gold. Spot gold briefly crossed $1,900 an ounce earlier before losing some of those gains, last sitting at $1,892 per ounce.
The Japanese yen, also commonly seen as a safe-haven asset, traded at 115.15 per dollar — still stronger than levels above 115.6 seen against the greenback earlier this week.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 622.24 points to 34,312.03. The S&P 500 shed 2.12% to 4,380.26 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 2.88% to 13,716.72.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.794 after declining from above 96 earlier this week.
The Australian dollar was at $0.7209, above an earlier low of $0.7175.