SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific declined in Tuesday trade as tensions surrounding Russia and Ukraine continue to keep investors on edge.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses regionally, falling 3.4% in morning trade. Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba dropped 5.22% following a Bloomberg report that Chinese authorities have told banks and state firms to report exposure to Ant Group.
The Shanghai composite in mainland China dipped more than 1% and the Shenzhen component dropped 1.426%,
The Nikkei 225 in Japan also saw sizable losses, last down 2.17% while the Topix index slipped 1.76%. In South Korea, the Kospi fell 1.87%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.5%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.92% lower.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered forces into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, following a Monday announcement that he would recognize their independence.
After that development, the White House responded, with U.S. President Joe Biden ordering sanctions against the separatist regions of Ukraine.
Oil prices, stocks surge
Oil prices jumped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.52% to $96.84 per barrel. U.S. crude futures soared 3.22% to $94 per barrel.
Shares of oil firms rose in Tuesday morning trade, with Beach Energy in Australia gaining 2.7% while Santos advanced 3.86%. In Japan, shares of Japan Petroleum Exploration jumped 1.72%. Hong Kong-listed shares of PetroChina rose 1.22%.
The U.S. markets were closed for a holiday on Monday, though moves in stock futures Monday night stateside pointed to losses ahead for Wall Street at the Tuesday open.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 416 points, or 1.22%. S&P 500 futures fell 1.59% while Nasdaq-100 futures slipped 2.12%.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.168 following a recent bounce from below 95.8.
The Japanese yen traded at 114.61 per dollar, largely holding on to gains as compared to levels above 115.6 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7193, off levels above $0.72 seen recently.
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