- Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday.
- January employment data released Thursday showed Australia adding 12,900 jobs for that month, above market forecasts for a flat outcome, according to Reuters.
- NATO on Wednesday accused Russia of increasing the number of troops it has gathered at the Ukrainian border, a day after Moscow claimed it had begun withdrawing some of its military units.
SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday as investors continued to monitor the situation surrounding Ukraine.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 0.83% lower at 27,232.87 while the Topix index shed 0.79% to 1,931.24.
Japan's January exports came in far below expectations, with official data released Thursday showing a 9.6% year-on-year rise for that month. That was against expectations by economists for a 16.5% gain, according to Reuters.
Mainland Chinese stocks finished the trading day higher, with the Shanghai composite rising fractionally to 3,468.04 and the Shenzhen component climbing 0.348% to 13,422.90. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong hovered above the flatline, as of its final hour of trading.
Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.53% to finish its trading day at 2,744.09.
Shares in Australia rose on the day, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.16% to 7,296.20.
Australia added 12,900 jobs for January, data released Thursday showed. That was above market forecasts for a flat outcome, according to Reuters. The country's unemployment rate held steady at 4.2%, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in line with expectations from a Reuters poll.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.38%.
Investors continued to monitor Russia-Ukraine tensions, as NATO on Wednesday accused Russia of increasing the number of troops it has gathered at the Ukrainian border — a day after Moscow claimed it had begun withdrawing some of its military units.
A senior Biden administration official told reporters that as many as 7,000 troops have joined the 150,000 already near the border in recent days, according to a NBC News report.
Travel stocks in Singapore rise
Travel stocks in Singapore rose in Thursday trade, after the country's authorities announced Wednesday plans to allow quarantine-free travel for all vaccinated visitors when the omicron wave has passed.
The broader Straits Times index in Singapore also saw gains, rising 0.41% as of 3:10 p.m. local time.
Oil partially recovers
Oil prices cut losses but remained in negative territory during the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 1.2% lower at $93.67 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.16% to $92.57 per barrel. Both crude benchmarks had earlier fallen more than 2% each.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.88 after seeing an earlier low of 95.749.