Asian shares struggled on Wednesday after Wall Street snapped a two-day rally with the crisis in Ukraine sapping investor confidence as it threatens a fragile economic recovery in Europe. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was off 0.04 percent while Japan’s Nikkei share average .N225 gave up 0.1 percent.
Investors were wary as a convoy of 280 Russian trucks carrying humanitarian aid headed for eastern Ukraine, where government forces are closing in on pro-Russian rebels. While Western officials have voiced suspicions that Russia would use a humanitarian mission as a pretext for invading Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it would hand off the convoy to the Red Cross after crossing the border.
“You can’t say there’s zero chance of a military intervention. But you can’t bet on it either. So investors are sort of stuck at the moment.” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.