On Monday, Asian stocks inched down as fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine weighed on the market sentiment.
Accordingly, the persisting threat has kept investors on edge. They worried about energy, grain, and metals supplies in the event of an armed confrontation.
The United States warned that Russia could target other cities in Ukraine besides the capital, Kyiv. However, the Russian government denied the allegation.
This week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Europe.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 0.72% to 26,926.01 points, leading to the drop of Asian stocks.
Subsequently, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, a machinery manufacturing company, sharply lost 5.93% to $23.89 per share.
Semiconductor firm Sumco shed 5.23% to $17.03 per share following the downtrend.
Likewise, transportation business Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha slipped 4.23% to $64.99 per share.
In addition, the broader TOPIX index decreased 0.70% to 1,910.80 points.
Its worst performers are Cross Marketing Group, AirTrip, and Giftee. The companies plummeted 7.14% to $7.52, 7.16% to $28.01, and 6.67% to $7.16, respectively.
The Japanese manufacturing purchasing managers’ index was 52.90 in February, lower than the prior figure of 55.40. This figure contributed to the negative turn of stocks.
In South Korea, the KOSPI dropped 0.56% to 2,729.21 points.
Among heavyweights, technology firms Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix slumped. They fell 0.43% to $58.56 and 0.92% to $90.06, respectively.
At the same time, battery maker LG Energy Solution slashed 0.99% to $377.00 per share.
Asian Stocks Down; China Held Steady LPR
Moreover, China retained its benchmark lending rate. The country’s one-year loan prime rate remained at 3.70%, while the five-year LPR remained at 4.60%.
In line with this, the mainland Chinese stocks also traded red.
The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.36% to 3,478.17 points as the benchmark Shenzhen component dipped 0.26% to 13,425.20 points.
Power plant developer Huaneng significantly declined 5.33% to $1.23 per share.
Consequently, Fujian, a manufacturer of capacitors, plunged 5.06% to $9.16 per share.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index diminished 0.71% to 24,155.05 points.
E-commerce giant Alibaba sank 3.18% to $14.83 per share. Similarly, gaming titan Tencent weakened 2.77% to $58.59 per share.
Overall, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asian stocks outside Japan hovered 0.37% lower to 618.82 points.