Asian shares mixed on rising Middle East tensions

<p>Saudi Arabia and its allies have launched an airstrike on Yemen yesterday.</p>

Asian stocks ended the week on a mixed note today (March 27th), affected by rising tensions in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and its allies launched an airstrike on Yemen yesterday, which caused investors to worry about the repercussions of the conflict. Crude oil prices slid while the dollar rose after upbeat US employment figures. The dollar was up 0.1 per cent to ¥119.28.

"The conflict in Yemen saw equities on the back foot in Asia yesterday and, should this escalate into a deeper regional conflict, then the risk-off trade is only likely to ramp up," Stan Shamu, a market strategist at IG in Melbourne, said in a note seen by Reuters.

Meanwhile, fresh data published today revealed that Japan’s core consumer price index was flat in February compared with a year before.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.3 per cent to 19,213.15 and South Korea's Kospi was down 0.3 per cent at 2,016.94. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.1 per cent to 24,474.82, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7 per cent to 5,919.90.

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