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Asian Shares Higher but Russia-Ukraine Tensions Weigh

Monday, 18 Aug 2014 05:59 AM

Asian shares mostly rose Monday but gains were capped by the latest round of tensions between Russia and Ukraine despite some progress cited in the "difficult" negotiations between both sides.

Also weighing on sentiment was a report showing China's foreign direct investment slumped to a two-year low, adding to a series of downbeat data about the world's second largest economy.

But bargain hunting pushed Shanghai higher, gaining 0.57 percent, or 12.74 points, to an eight-month closing high of 2,239.47 while Hong Kong ended flat, edging up 0.52 points to 24,955.46.

Sydney gained 0.37 percent, or 20.6 points, to 5,587.1, but Seoul lost 0.49 percent, or 10.09 points, to 2,053.13 while Tokyo closed flat, inching up 4.26 points, to 15,322.60.

U.S. shares rebounded late Friday to end mixed after an early bout of selling on news that Ukraine had shelled Russian armored vehicles after they entered its territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.30 percent at 16,662.91, after earlier having shed 0.50 percent on the news.

Worries that the incident would lead to a direct clash between the two ebbed after Moscow denied the incursion and Ukraine's foreign minister agreed to meet his Russian counterpart in Berlin on Sunday.

The two sides ended the "difficult" talks on the crisis with no concrete advances but "some progress," host Germany said, as clashes continued on the ground.

The nature of the progress was not disclosed by either party, but Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed the need for both nations to avoid "sliding ever deeper into a direct confrontation."

 

 

In currency markets, the dollar edged down to 102.32 yen in afternoon Asian trade, compared with 102.34 yen in New York late Friday.

The greenback is expected to gain in volatile forex trading this week, ahead of a speech on Friday by US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen at the central bank's annual economic policy symposium as investors look for any hint of a change to the Fed's interest-rate plans.

Last month Yellen told Congress the Fed would hold its near-zero interest rate policy until the US economy strengthens, but may raise rates if the jobs market kept improving.

© AFP 2017

   
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Asian shares mostly rose Monday but gains were capped by the latest round of tensions between Russia and Ukraine despite some progress cited in the difficult negotiations between both sides.
Stocks, Asia, finance, forex
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2014-59-18
Monday, 18 Aug 2014 05:59 AM
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