Investing.com - Asian share markets mostly fell on Friday on
concerns over heightened tension in the Ukraine, while Japanese
stocks moved higher
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.7% and South Korea's KOSPI
lost 0.6% after tensions in Ukraine came to the fore again.
In other markets, the Shanghai Composite was 0.17% lower, while
Australia's market was closed for a public holiday. The Nikkei 225
Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914.TOK) rose by 1.3% after the company
reported that its revenue rose by 21.1% in the January to March
quarter, which helped offset a corporate tax driven fall in its net
At the end of a week shortened in a number of markets by
holidays, the best performer was Australia which had gained 1.4%
since the end of last week. Japanese stocks were down 0.9%
week-to-date and the Shanghai Composite Index was 1.9% lower.
Overnight, U.S. stocks finished largely higher on solid U.S.
durable goods data with the Dow 30 was unchanged, the S&P 500
index rose 0.17%, while the NASDAQ Composite Composite index rose
Ukraine military forces killed five separatists earlier, while
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Kiev against stepping up
its offensive against the rebels, sparking fears the U.S. and its
European allies will slap fresh sanctions on Moscow and turn the
standoff up a notch.
Geopolitical tensions took the luster out of positive U.S. data
and Apple earnings, sending investors chasing safe-haven positions
outside of equities markets.
The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. orders for
durable goods rose 2.6% in March, beating expectations for a 2%
Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation
items, rose 2% last month, far outpacing forecasts for a 0.6%
Separately, the Labor Department said the number of individuals
who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. in the week
ending April 19 rose by 24,000 to 329,000. Analysts had expected an
increase of 5,000.
Despite the increase, underlying trends still point to recovery
in the labor market, which supported stocks on sentiments that a
more robust U.S. economy down the road will improve corporate
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose
0.28%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.64%, while Germany's DAX rose 0.05%.
Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.42%.
On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with revised data on
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