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Asia-Pacific markets rise as investors watch deepening Ukraine crisis; New Zealand dollar jumps

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade as investors continue monitoring the intensifying crisis surrounding Ukraine.

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.63% in early trade.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia recovered from earlier losses, last up 0.23%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.11% higher.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday Russia has begun “an invasion” of Ukraine and announced sanctions against Russian banks and the country’s sovereign debt, among others. Biden’s announcement came following the Russian parliament’s approval of President Vladimir Putin’s Tuesday request to use military force outside the country’s borders.

Markets in Japan are closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 1.01% to 4,304.76 — more than 10% below its Jan. 3 record close, leaving the index in correction territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 482.57 points, or 1.42%, to 33,596.61 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.23% to 13,381.52.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.025 after recently falling from above 96.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.12 per dollar, weaker than levels below 114.8 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7223 after climbing from below $0.72 yesterday.

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