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Asian stocks mainly up, bond yields ease as investors weigh Fed against Ukraine risks

TOKYO : Asian inventory markets had been largely larger on Thursday whereas bond yields prolonged their decline as investors weighed risks of a Ukraine invasion against indicators that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not be as aggressive as feared in tightening coverage.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 0.27per cent, capped by declines in Japanese stocks, with the Nikkei sinking 0.29per cent on persistent worries that Russia might invade Ukraine.

MSCI’s equal regional index that removes Japan rose 0.64per cent.

Chinese blue chips added 0.36per cent, reversing an earlier loss. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng flipped to a 0.46per cent achieve.

Australia’s benchmark rose 0.65per cent as larger metals costs outweighed geopolitical considerations. South Korea’s Kospi leapt 1.38per cent.

U.S. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.07per cent.

Markets stay on edge after Western international locations together with the U.S. warned on Wednesday that Russia’s army presence on Ukraine’s borders was rising, somewhat than shrinking as Moscow has insisted.

At the identical time, worries a couple of super-hawkish Fed rate-tightening marketing campaign, doubtlessly together with a 50 basis-point hike subsequent month, took a step down in a single day after minutes of the newest coverage assembly signaled a extra measured, data-dependent strategy from central financial institution officers.

The much less hawkish Fed minutes are a constructive signal that markets can re-adjust after beforehand pricing in aggressive fee hikes, stated Trinh Nguyen, a senior economist at Natixis.

Money markets see about 43per cent odds of a half-point hike on March 16, and about 150 foundation factors of tightening in complete this 12 months.

U.S. Treasury yields continued their retreat in Asia on Thursday, with the 10-year yield easing about 2 foundation factors to 2.03per cent, pressured each by bets for a much less hawkish Fed and demand for protected haven property amid Ukraine uncertainty.

The U.S. greenback index, which measures the foreign money against six main friends, edged 0.06per cent decrease to 95.770.

A softer greenback and decrease yields mixed with subdued threat sentiment helped to maintain gold close to an eight-month peak at $1879.48, reached Tuesday. It final traded round $1,868 an oz.

Crude oil retreated, although, amid optimism that negotiations will salvage Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude buying and selling down $2.50 at $91.16 a barrel and Brent down $2.43 at $92.38.

Oil markets have been dominated in latest weeks by the specter of Russia invading Ukraine, with considerations that provide disruptions from the foremost producer in a good international market might push oil costs to $100 a barrel.

Mizuho stated any aid about Ukraine is untimely, if not unfounded.

“As tensions run high and markets assess the fluid risks of Russian invasion of Ukraine, dips in risk aversion could reverse abruptly,” the financial institution’s analysts wrote in a analysis notice.

“The fear is that Russia-Ukraine risks may become entrenched, maybe even normalized.”

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

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