Asian shares are in retreat as tensions in Ukraine and the credit slowdown in China tempered investors optimism after improved US economic data.
Western leaders have condemned Russia's President Vladimir Putin for escalating tensions in Ukraine where pro-Russian forces ignored warnings to leave areas of the eastern part of the country.
Foreign secretary William Hague has accused Russia’s Vladimir Putinof a “gross, deliberate and premeditated violation of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine.” Barack Obama warned the Russian President that there would be further consequences for supporting Ukrainian separatists.
Meanwhile, data for March showed China's money supply growing at the slowest rate in close to 13 years. A surge in in bank loans and relatively loose interbank liquidity have failed to reverse China's credit slowdown.
Japan's Nikkei is up 0.9 per cent, while The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index has retreated by one per cent. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has fallen by 0.8 per cent, approaching the biggest one day dip seen this month. South Korea's Kospi is also down by 0.2 per cent but the Topix is enjoying gains of 0.6 per cent.