Stocks in Asia traded mostly higher, although the scale of gains was minor. S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2%, Kospi moved 0.5% higher and indices from China traded up to 0.7% higher. Nikkei lagged and dropped 0.8%
DAX futures point to a lower opening of the European cash session
Risk-off moods arrived at the markets ahead of the European cash session following reports of tensions in Ukraine increasing
Russian media reported that Ukraine government forces have started mortar shelling of Russian-backed rebel groups in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts
So far reports came from Russian media only and were not confirmed by Ukrainian or Western media
Ukraine denied shelling Russian-backed separatists’ positions
White House said that Russian troop build-up near border with Ukraine continues
FOMC minutes showed that Fed sees need for quicker pace of tightening than in 2015
Oil prices dropped yesterday in the evening on positive Iran nuclear deal headlines. France said that the deal is just days away
Australian employment increased by 12.9k in January (exp. 0k) while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.2% (exp. 4.2%)
Japanese exports increased 9.6% YoY in January (exp. 16.5% YoY) while imports were 39.6% YoY higher (exp. 37.0% YoY)
Japanese machinery orders increased 3.6% MoM in December (exp. -1.8% MoM)
Precious metals gain on increased risk aversion – gold, platinum and palladium trade higher. Silver drops
NZD and JPY are the best performing major currencies while EUR and CAD lag the most
Risk trades took a hit on reports on shooting in eastern part of Ukraine. AUDJPY slumped around 1% on the news (orange circle). While tensions remain, the pair has managed to recover a bulk of losses already.
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