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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade as investors continue monitoring the intensifying crisis surrounding Ukraine.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher as the Shanghai composite gained 0.23% while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.692%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index hovered slightly higher.

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.3% in morning trade. Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia recovered from earlier losses, last up 0.21%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday Russia has begun “an invasion” of Ukraine and announced sanctions against Russian banks and the country’s sovereign debt, among others. Biden’s announcement came following the Russian parliament’s approval of President Vladimir Putin’s Tuesday request to use military force outside the country’s borders.

“As gripping as the situation in Ukraine is, it doesn’t have a monopoly of the concerns of the markets,” Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank wrote in a Wednesday note.

“A host of other factors, led by monetary policy may be in direct conflict with Ukraine-related haven demand,” he said. “Most prominent is the conflict between an aggressively hawkish Fed that tilts yields higher and haven demand from Ukraine dampens, if not drags, yields.”

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note last sat at 1.9407%. The 10-year Treasury has crossed 2% in recent weeks as investors reposition themselves ahead of expected rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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Markets in Japan are closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 1.01% to 4,304.76 — more than 10% below its Jan. 3 record close, leaving the index in correction territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 482.57 points, or 1.42%, to 33,596.61 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.23% to 13,381.52.

New Zealand dollar jumps

The New Zealand dollar jumped about 0.6% on Wednesday to $0.6773 after the country’s central bank raised the official cash rate to 1% and said “more monetary tightening was needed” than previously signaled.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.02 after recently falling from above 96.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.04 per dollar, weaker than levels below 114.8 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7232 after climbing from below $0.72 yesterday.

Oil prices were mildly higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, following a Tuesday surge as tensions rise between Moscow and Kyiv.

On Wednesday morning in Asia, international benchmark Brent crude futures sat slightly higher at $96.89 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained about 0.1% to $91.98 per barrel.

Source: DailyMail

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