HONG KONG, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Asian stocks fell and the dollar gained on Wednesday after an explosion in Poland that Ukrainian and Polish authorities say was caused by a Russian-made missile.
Concerns about a potential increase in geopolitical tensions drove MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) down 1%.
Australian stocks (.AXJO) fell 0.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index (.N225) fell 0.1%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (.HSI) lost 1.1% and China’s CSI 300 (.CSI300) fell 0.4% by midday. The struggling real estate sector weighed on markets, with new home prices in China falling at their fastest pace in more than seven years in October, weighed down by COVID-19-related restrictions and industry-wide concerns.
US stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, fell 0.2%.
In early European trading, pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures lost 0.9%, German DAX futures fell 1% and FTSE futures fell 0.5%.
NATO member Poland said on Wednesday a Russian-made missile killed two people in eastern Poland near Ukraine, calling on the Russian ambassador in Warsaw for an explanation after Moscow denied it was responsible.
“(It) interrupted what had been a much more constructive tone in the markets over the past three, four days,” said Dwyfor Evans, head of Asia-Pacific macro strategy at State Street Global Markets in Hong Kong, noting that financial markets are optimistic. were that US inflation cooled.
US President Joe Biden said the United States and its NATO allies were investigating the blast, but early information suggested it may not have been caused by a missile fired from Russia.
“I think President Biden’s comment was clear when he was representing the U.S. government,” said Quincy Krosby, chief strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Unless there is evidence to the contrary, (market concerns) should subside.”
The safe haven US dollar offset gains against its major peers, but was still mostly higher, led by a 0.63% gain against the yen.
Sterling lost 0.32%, while the risky Aussie dollar weakened 0.34%. The euro was flat.
“Today there are a lot of headlines, but there is a sense that at this stage it will not lead to an escalation of tensions, or at least there is no appetite to go that way,” Rodrigo said. Catril, senior currency analyst at National Australia Bank in Sydney.
The fact that the risk-sensitive, growth-promoting Australian and New Zealand dollars retained most of their big gains from Tuesday after soft US PPI readings is an indication that “there is a lot of appetite to push the US dollar lower”. said Catril.
The yield on benchmark 10-year government bonds rose to 3.8068% in Tokyo, compared to 3.799% at the close of US trading on Tuesday. Rather, it fell as low as 3.757%, matching the previous session’s intraday trough, the lowest since Oct. 6.
US crude fell 0.74% to $86.29 a barrel. Oil prices rose on Tuesday after news that oil supplies to Hungary through the Druzhba oil pipeline had been temporarily halted due to a drop in pressure.
Gold was slightly lower, with gold trading at $1,778.17 an ounce for cash.
Reporting by Xie Yu; Additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee; Edited by Edwina Gibbs and Edmund Klamann
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