The Nikkei share average lost more than 1% to fall to a one-week low on Friday, while posting its biggest one-day fall in almost two months as investors became more risk averse on news around the Malaysian Airlines passenger crash.
The Hang Seng Index traded in the red on Friday, tracking the weaker close on Wall Street overnight, while investors were also rattled following the news that a Malaysian airliner was shot down with a missile near to the Ukraine-Russia border, killing nearly 300 people on board.
Reuters reports that European markets are seen opening lower on Friday, extending the losses from the previous trading session after reports that a Malaysian airliner had crashed over eastern Ukraine and triggered a sell-off, while also increasing geopolitical tensions.
According to Reuters, the Dow reached another intraday record high on solid earnings from companies such as Morgan Stanley and UnitedHealth but closed sharply lower on Thursday on the back of news that a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet had been shot down and crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border.
Business Day reports that local equities closed in negative territory on Thursday‚with investors taking some profits after the market rallied strongly over the past four trading sessions which saw the JSE All Share Index reach new record highs, while the Reserve Bank’s decision to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to 5.75% because of rising inflation concerns was not a big surprise.
The Rand is trading slightly lower at R10.7092 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted at R14.4815 and the British Pound at R18.2854.
The gold price dipped lower in Singapore on Friday on some profit-taking after surging higher overnight as risk aversion increased, burnishing the precious metal appeal as an alternative investment during times of geopolitical uncertainty. The gold price last traded at $1,312.00, with the platinum price quoted at $1,489.00, while the palladium price is trading at $877.30.
Brent was last trading higher at $108.31 a barrel.