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Asia-Pacific Stocks Mixed as Russia-Ukraine Tensions Keep Investors Cautious

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday.
  • Japan's economy expanded 5.4% on an annualized basis in the final quarter of 2021, according to government data released Tuesday. Still, the quarterly annualized gross domestic product growth was below a median market forecast for a 5.8% gain, according to Reuters.
  • Global markets have been kept on edge amid fears of a Russian attack on Ukraine, with the U.S. closing its embassy in Kyiv.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as investors in the region continued to monitor tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Japanese stocks closed in negative territory with the Nikkei 225 down 0.79% to 26,865.19 while the Topix index declined 0.83% to 1,914.70.

Japan's economy expanded 5.4% on an annualized basis in the final quarter of 2021, according to government data released Tuesday. Still, the quarterly annualized gross domestic product growth was below a median market forecast for a 5.8% gain, according to Reuters.

Mainland Chinese stocks, on the other hand, closed higher. The Shanghai composite gained 0.5% to 3,446.09 while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.695% to 13,345.63.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index declined about 1.1%, as of its final hour of trading.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi finished its trading day 1.03% lower at 2,676.54 while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.51%, closing at 7,206.90.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.31%.

Global markets have been kept on edge amid fears of a Russian attack on Ukraine, with the U.S. closing its embassy in Kyiv.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 171.89 points to 34,566.17 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.38% to 4,401.67. The Nasdaq Composite was little changed at 13,790.92.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.179 following its bounce last week from levels below 95.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.29 per dollar, weaker than levels below 115.2 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7113, struggling to recover after last week's decline from above $0.72.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.41% to $96.08 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.48% to $95 per barrel.

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