Asian Stocks Tumble As Ukraine Crisis Worsens

On Friday, Asian shares dropped to a low of one months and the Japanese Yen pushed higher as growing tension in Ukraine drove investors out of riskier assets.

Asian Stocks Tumble As Ukraine Crisis Worsens

Thursday’s disappointing Chinese economic data added to the gloom while solid U.S. retail sales and employment data reinforced expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue with its plan of gradually withdrawing its asset-buying stimulus. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.1 percent to touch its lowest level since mid-February and on track for a weekly loss of more than 2 percent. As the Yen soared, Japan’s Nikkei stock average .N225 skidded 2.7 percent to a one-month low, on track for a weekly loss of more than 5 percent.

“Investors are unwinding their long positions in the Nikkei and short positions in the yen,” said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities and commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas.

“Short-term sellers like commodity trading advisors are also big players today and they are also reacting to the falling copper price,” he added.

The Euro slipped about 0.2 percent on the day to 140.97 yen, after a precipitous fall on Thursday from a session high of 143.38 yen to a low of 140.70 yen. The greenback was down about 0.2 percent on Friday at 101.70 yen.

“Incoming data in the U.S. suggest the economy is emerging from weather-related distortions to activity,” strategists at Barclays wrote in a note to clients.

“We continue to expect the Fed to taper its monthly pace of asset purchases by another $10 billion at its meeting next week,” they said.

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