Hong Kong’s Hang Seng leads losses in Asia as Russia-Ukraine tensions escalate; oil prices jump
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 3.11% in afternoon trade.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.27%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.9% lower.
Investors will continue to monitor geopolitical tensions, after 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
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 96.192 following a recent bounce from below 95.8.
The Japanese yen traded at 114.69 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.