Asian shares fell on Thursday, while the sell-off in U.S. Treasuries paused and oil prices rose, as investors and traders weighed the latest developments in the Ukraine war and more hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials.
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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.6per cent. Japan's Nikkei fell by more than 1per cent on Thursday morning, after touching a two-month high in the previous session.
China's markets opened lower, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down 0.9per cent and the mainland's bluechip index off 0.7per cent. Shares of Tencent Holdings dropped 4.6per cent after it posted its slowest-ever sales rise.
U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Brussels for a series of summit meetings on the Ukraine War, with Biden set to announce a U.S. package of Russia-related sanctions on political figures and oligarchs on Thursday.
Oil prices held firm. Russia President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow, which calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation", will seek payment in roubles for gas sold to "unfriendly" countries.
Brent futures were up about 45 cents, or 0.4per cent, at $122.05 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were up about 15 cents, or 0.2per cent, at $115.07 a barrel. [OR/]
The bond market, meanwhile, paused for breath with the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last at 2.3098per cent in Tokyo trading, after retreating from a nearly three-year peak of 2.4170per cent overnight.
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