Asian stocks subdued on Ukraine caution, dollar firms vs. yen

Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:42am EDT
 
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By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stock markets were subdued on Monday, as tensions in Ukraine kept investors cautious amid an absence of catalysts as several markets remained closed for the Easter holiday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.3 percent on the back of a weaker yen.

Share markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt are closed for the Easter holiday.

Tensions in Ukraine, signs of slowing growth in China and uncertainty over when the U.S. Federal Reserve would start to tighten interest rates have buffeted global markets in recent weeks, although Fed Chair Janet Yellen's dovish comments last week helped soothe some nerves.

Chinese shares slipped on concerns towards potential new listings diluting the market after the securities regulator released draft prospectuses for new companies planning to list.

"The way the market sees the IPO news is that new shares will end up diluting capital, and what's more, this news is rather sudden," said Tian Weidong, head of research in Kaiyuan Securities in the city of Xi'an.

The CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was down 0.4 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent.

The dollar edged up to a two-week high against the yen after data showed Japan posted its largest-ever trade deficit in the fiscal year through March 2014 due to a soaring energy import bill.   Continued...

 
A man looks at an electronic board displaying Japan's Nikkei average (top C) and various countries' stock indices, as passers-by walk past outside a brokerage in Tokyo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai