Asian markets indecisive as US imposes fresh sanctions

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets have been switching between gains and losses after a less than impressive day on Wall Street and the crisis in Ukraine continued to give investors reason for caution.

The US has deployed more troops in eastern Europe and imposed fresh sanctions in response to Russia's activity in the region. The new sanctions target seven Russian government officials and 17 companies with links to the Kremlin.

On Monday, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was shot and seriously wounded, while pro-Russian groups seized a government building in the town of Kostyantynivka.

London-based consultancy Capital Economics released its China Activity Proxy (CAP), which suggested that growth stabilised during the course of the first quarter. However, Capital Economics expect weakness in real estate construction to cause the economy to slow again over the coming quarters.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index 0.2 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi retreated 0.2 per cent. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index is up 0.3 per cent.