Asia markets fall as violence flares in Iraq; oil and gold prices rise

Asia Pacific markets retraced some losses on Wednesday but remained broadly lower. Earlier, shares tumbled when reports said rockets were fired at an Iraqi airbase that hosts American troops.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 eased from earlier declines of more than 2% to trade down 1.57% at 23,204.76 while the Topix index was down 1.37% at 1,701.40. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is said to have canceled a scheduled trip this weekend to the Middle East, according to a local broadcaster, Reuters reported.

South Korea’s Kospi index was down 1.11% at 2,151.31. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 erased earlier losses to drop 0.13% to 6,817.60.

U.S. stock futures declined. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 162 points and indicated a loss of 184.68 points at Wednesday’s open. It fell more than 400 points earlier, on news of Iran’s attacks in Iraq, before stabilizing.

Chinese mainland markets also traded lower. The Shanghai composite index was down 1.22% at 3,066.89, the Shenzhen composite fell 1.24% to 1,769.58 and the Shenzhen component declined 1.13% to 10,706.87.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.83% to 28,087.92. In Singapore, the Straits Times index fell 0.24% — Singapore Airlines shares were 0.4% lower as the carrier said it was diverting all flights in and out of Europe from Iranian airspace.

Shares in India also fell as the S&P Sensex was down 0.44% and the Nifty 50 declined 0.54%.