The Nikkei Index fell 0.4% to a new six-month low on Monday with investors remaining cautious after a volatile trading session on Wall Street on Friday, while escalating tensions in Ukraine also kept market sentiment in check.
The markets in China traded lower on Monday, with uncertainty on global equity markets weighing on investor sentiment, while financial shares ended lower on some profit taking after last week's announcement that Hong Kong and investors on mainland China may buy shares in companies listed on each other's bourses.
Reuter’s reports that European markets are expected to decline on Monday, with investors continuing to sell-off and extend Friday’s losses on the back of further weakness on Wall Street, as well as increasing tensions around the Ukraine situation.
According to the Reuters website, stocks on Wall Street closed lower in choppy trading on Friday, with the NASDAQ giving up 3.1% for the week and ending below the 4 000 points level for the first time since February, while the broad S& P 500 index dropped 2.6% for the week as the shares of JPMorgan lost 3.7% after the bank reported weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as revenue from securities trading declined.
Business Day reports that a sharp sell-off in technology stocks on the NASDAQ Composite Index triggered sales on the JSE All Share Index, which ended 1% in the red on Friday with investors becoming more concerned about the high JSE valuations with the index trading on a price/earnings ratio of more than 20-times.
The Rand was last trading weaker at R10.5467 against the Dollar, while it is also quoted lower at R14.6024 against the Euro and at R17.6152 to the Pound.
The gold price surged to a three-week high in Singapore on Monday as increasing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine capped investor appetite for risk, pushing equity markets lower and boosting the precious metal’s appeal as a safe-haven. Gold was last trading at $1,328.20, with the platinum price quoted slightly lower at $1,428.80, while the palladium price is trading stronger at $810.60.
Brent was last trading slightly higher at $107.80 a barrel