Asia markets fall as Russia attacks Ukraine; oil and gold prices pop


SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific shares fell on Thursday as investors continue to watch the escalating situation between Russia and Ukraine.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.19%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.72%, while the Topix slid 0.46%.

In South Korea, the Kospi was down 1.34%. The Bank of Korea is set to meet on Thursday.

On the earnings front, Alibaba will be reporting its third-quarter earnings late in Asia.

Concerns over the escalating tensions in Russia and Ukraine remain in focus. Ukraine on Wednesday announced that it intends to impose a state of emergency for 30 days with the possibility of an extension. The measure must first be approved by parliament.

The country also warned its citizens to leave Russia and avoid traveling there.

The crisis entered a new phase this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would formally recognize the independence of two pro-Moscow breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Russian state-controlled media reported that Moscow had begun evacuating people from its embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.

Overnight on Wall Street, the three major indexes continued to fall. The S&P 500 fell 1.8% and slid deeper into correction, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.38% to 33,131.76. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite lost 2.6% to 13,037.49.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.190.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.91 per dollar, while the Australian dollar was at $0.7216 after falling from $0.7233.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after reversing earlier losses. U.S. crude futures rose 1.36% to trade at $93.35 per barrel early in Asia on Thursday.

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