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Asian shares under pressure amid fresh tension in Ukraine

Asian shares under pressure amid fresh tension in Ukraine

Asian shares were under pressure on Monday in morning trade amid fresh tension in Ukraine and after the S&P 500 dropped to a two-month low on Friday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% to 138 as of 9:33 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite was down 0.3%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.4% and Taiwan’s Taiex Index slid 0.4%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.9% today and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.1%.

Raw-material companies fell, while telecommunications shares advanced in mild movements as investors waited for key Asian data later in the week, including China gross domestic product figures on Wednesday.

In company news, Sharp Corp. plunged 8.4% in Tokyo after the supplier of displays for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad said it is considering ways to increase capital.

Nippon Meat Packers Inc. rose 3.3% as UBS AG advised buying the Japanese shares. Rio Tinto Ltd. sank 0.7% in Sydney as mining companies fell, while KDDI Corp. added 1.2% in Tokyo to lead communication firms higher.

Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing, the largest component on the Nikkei 225, declined nearly 5% after weekend reports that it is in talks to buy UK retailer Cath Kidston for £250 million.

Investors turned to haven assets after Moscow denounced Kiev’s decision to crack down on unrest in eastern Ukraine cities as a “criminal order”, prompting an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council. The price of gold rose $9 per ounce to $1,327.72, a three-week high.

The Japanese yen rose 0.1% against the US dollar and 0.3% against the euro. That also followed a signal from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that the central bank may engage in unconventional monetary policy to combat low inflation.

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