Japanese index futures signaled losses amid a revival in the yen as a quarrel between Turkey and Russia over the downing of a warplane stoked concern over geopolitical tensions, fueling demand for haven assets.
Japan’s currency held gains against most major peers Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the shooting down of his country’s plane by Turkish forces near their border with northeastern Syria would have “serious consequences.” Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures fell with Australian and New Zealand shares, even after U.S. stocks erased their declines to end last session up 0.1 percent. Gold maintained Tuesday’s gains, while U.S. oil was close to $43 a barrel amid the renewed focus on Middle East tensions.
Mounting tensions in the Middle East have helped crude recover from its lowest settlement since August.
While European stocks sold off on the warplane news, the impact was more limited in the U.S. as political analysts in Russia and Europe said a major escalation seems unlikely given the risks associated with any conflict between Russia and Turkey, a NATO member. The downing of the plane comes as Brussels remains on the highest-level terror alert amid what officials have called credible terrorist threats and after the U.S. State Department issued a global warning for Americans. Anxiety over a divergence in U.S. and global central bank policy as soon as next month is also keeping investors on edge.
Nikkei 225 futures were bid for 19,890 in the Osaka pre-market, down from 19,960 at their close in Japan Tuesday as the yen traded little changed at 122.52 per dollar, following last session’s 0.3 percent advance. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.2 percent as of 8:53 am. in Tokyo, and the S&P/NZX 50 Index lost the same amount from a record high in Wellington.
Source : Bloomberg