Nikkei falls on Ukraine tensions

<p>The Nikkei was down to a new one-and-a-half week low today.</p>

The Nikkei got the new week off to a slow start by dropping to a new one-and-a-half week low after the first trading session of the week today (March 3rd).

It lost 1.3 per cent of its value over the session, ending the day down at 14,652.23, meaning the Nikkei is now on a four-day losing streak. It also closed at its lowest end point since February 20th, reports Reuters.

A stronger yen also had an impact on the health of the Nikkei today, as a weak yen is typically good news for the index's major global exporters as they get a better price for their goods.

Tensions in Ukraine have also caused concerns for investors, who are increasingly worried about the ongoing political issues in the eastern European country. Russian forces moved into the Crimea region of the nation over the weekend after Ukraine leader Viktor Yanukovych was forced out and replaced by Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk.

Ukraine protests

Protesters had taken to the streets of Kiev to call for Ukraine to move away from Russia and instead lobby to join the European Union, but instead Russia looks to be reasserting its dominance over the country. Mr Yatseniuk has described Moscow's move to use military force as a "declaration of war".

As well as the 1.3 per cent loss for the Nikkei over the course of the session, there was a drop in the overall value of the broader Topix index, which slipped by 1.2 per cent. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down as well, dropping 1.3 per cent to 10,831.08. It is an index that was launched this year comprising firms with high return on equity and strong corporate governance.

The Nikkei had hit a four-week high during last week's trading, only to slip back after investors started to take their profits out of the market. 2014 has been a volatile year for the index so far, as it has struggled to make progress after it had an excellent 2013, outperforming major global rivals such as the FTSE 100 in London and the Dow Jones in the US.

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