The Nikkei Index fell to a 2½-week low on Wednesday following a 4.8% decline in index heavy-weight SoftBank Corp, after its U.S. subsidiary Sprint Corp dumped its attempt to acquire T-Mobile U.S. Inc.
The Hang Seng Index dropped lower on Wednesday on some profit taking on Chinese blue-chip stocks, with some traders saying that a market correction was due after the recent heavy gains, while investors were also mindful of the declines on U.S. markets.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to open lower on Wednesday, tracking the lower close on Wall Street overnight, as well as on Asian markets this morning, as the situation in Ukraine deteriorates and prompts investors to become risk averse.
Reuters reports that US markets slipped lower on Tuesday with all 10 S&P 500 sectors ending in the red, as concerns increased over reports that Russian troops were massing near the Ukraine border, while good news is now considered as bad news out of the US‚as investors expect that the Fed would be closer to tightening interest rates.
Business Day reports that the JSE All Share Index closed higher on Tuesday‚on the back of a weaker Rand which fell after another round of upbeat US data bolstered the demand for the US Dollar and boosted Rand-hedge shares such as British American Tobacco.
The Rand is trading weaker at R10.7903 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted at R14.4138 and the British Pound at R18.1672.
The gold price edged slightly higher in Singapore on Wednesday on the back of market risk aversion as increasing military action along the Ukraine border added pressure to global equity markets. Gold was last trading at $1,291.50, with the platinum price quoted at $1,456.70, while the palladium price has slipped to $844.83.
Brent was last trading lower at $104.81 a barrel.