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Asian shares drift lower amid US-Russia tensions on Syria

Hong Kong’s Rely on Seng Index gave up early gains to edge down by 0.23 percent regard for strength in the energy sector, which was buoyed by the advance in oil prices. Staggering cap financials were mostly lower.

Markets on the mainland also followed below flat line. The Shanghai composite slipped 0.6 percent and the Shenzhen composite was off by 0.25 percent.

On top of in South Korea, the Kospi bucked the broader trend to edge tall by 0.2 percent. Shippers and most technology names gained in the morning, with Samsung Electronics up 0.78 percent.

MSCI’s cookie index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan declined, termination trading lower by 0.35 percent.

Tentative moves in the region on Thursday tracked the weaker surpass on Wall Street following a tweet from President Donald Trump teasing Russia about a possible missile strike on Syria.

Trump’s tweet that Russia should “get intelligent” for a potential strike on Syria came after a likely chemical weapons raid over the weekend on a rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta region of Syria.

“The brickbat tweet was sufficient to frighten the horses to some extent, dampening hazard sentiment,” David de Garis, director of economics at National Australia Bank, phrased in a note.

The newfound focus on geopolitics took the focus off a trade counterpart between the U.S. and China.

Asian markets had bounced earlier in the week after states from Chinese President Xi Jinping promising some steps to moreover open up China’s economy. That confidence wavered in the last meeting as investors awaited signals that Xi’s comments would translate into motion.

Investors also digested the release of minutes from the Federal Forthright Market Committee’s March meeting, which reflected that “all” policymakers look forward the U.S. economy to continue growing and for inflation to rise. Those views stiffened the belief that more interest rate hikes lay ahead.

Gold rates, which initially rose on the back of heightened political risk, slipped heed the release of minutes from the Fed.

Ahead, earnings are likely to be in focus, with J.P. Morgan Follow and Citigroup among the major banking names reporting on Friday. In Asia, Japan’s Extravagant Retailing is expected to announce semiannual results for fiscal 2018 later in the day.

In currencies, the dollar lessened some losses after coming under pressure against the safe-haven Japanese currency in the thick of the pick up in geopolitical risk overnight. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 106.87 by 12:08 p.m. HK/SIN.

The dollar typography hand, which tracks the U.S. currency against six rival currencies, was mostly rooms at 89.534.

Of note, the Hong Kong dollar touched a 33-year low earlier on Thursday. The currency, which is suppressed to the greenback, last traded at 7.8499 to the dollar.

Oil prices extended close withs after surging in the last session as markets focused on geopolitical jeopardize. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was higher by 0.49 percent at $67.15 per barrel and Brent rough futures shed edged up 0.39 percent to trade at $72.34.

Global benchmark Brent took its highest levels in more than three years in the last conference following Trump’s tweet on Wednesday.

In economic news, the Bank of Korea kept interest rates steady at 1.5 percent on Thursday, a move that was at bottom expected by the market.

Meanwhile, in individual movers, Japanese retailer Aeon rifted 4.27 percent after the company announced that annual profit be generate 14 percent compared to one year ago.

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