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Asia Markets Drop as Ukraine Crisis Continues to Overshadow Global Economy 

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Stock markets in Asia and Australia were mixed Wednesday as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to cast a pall over the global economy.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index finished 1.6% lower, while Shanghai’s Composite index and the TSEC index in Taiwan both closed 0.1% lower.

The KOSPI index in South Korea closed 0.1% higher. In late afternoon trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is 1.9% lower, while Mumbai’s Sensex is down just over 2%

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX index finished up 0.2%.

In commodities trading, gold was selling at $1,943.50 an ounce, virtually unchanged percentage wise. Oil markets are continuing to rise, with U.S. crude oil trading at $109.97 per barrel, an increase of 6.3%, while Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is also 6.3% higher, selling at $111.65 per barrel.

Russia’s currency, the ruble, was trading at 105.61 to the U.S. dollar, down 0.4%. The Russian Stock Exchange is closed for the third consecutive day as sanctions imposed by a growing list of nations in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The British online newspaper The Independent said Russia’s central bank will allow a limited number of operations for the first time.

In futures trading, the Dow Jones is trending slightly higher, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are both slightly higher.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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