SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a lower start on Friday as investors remain on edge over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,430 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,360. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,577.27.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.45% in morning trade.

“Risk sentiment remains fragile and is very much being swung around by Russia/Ukraine headlines as well by central banks who seem committed to hiking rates, and who are also noting upside risks to inflation,” Tapas Strickland, an economist at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

Oil prices saw a pullback on Thursday after days of rising rapidly, with U.S. crude futures at one point surging to a level last seen in Sept. 2008. International benchmark Brent crude futures currently sit at $110.4 per barrel after recently rising to as high as $119.84, the highest level since May 2012.

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Overnight stateside, The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 96.69 points to 33,794.66 while the S&P 500 dipped about 0.53% to 4,363.49. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.56% to 13,537.94.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.725 after recently rising from below 97.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.48 per dollar, weaker than levels below 115 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7328 following its general rise from levels below $0.721 earlier this week.

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