Indices from Asia-Pacific traded mixed today. Nikkei gained 0.2%, S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2% and Kospi moved 0.4% lower. Stock markets in China were closed for holidays

US futures trade little changed compared to Friday’s cash close

European futures point to a lower opening of today’s cash session

According to the Times, Russia is preparing for a takeover of Moldova. After a successful takeover, Russia will use territory of the country to launch offensive at Ukrainian port of Odessa

According to Financial Times report, US and UK held high level talks on China risk to Taiwan

According to German Economy Ministry report, Germany may be ready to end dependence on Russian oil by the end of summer

ECB’s de Guindos said that a rate hike in July is a possibility but a rather unlikely one

Japanese manufacturing PMI for April dropped from 54.1 to 53.5 pts (exp. 53.4 pts)

Cryptocurrencies trade higher – Bitcoin gains 1.8% while Ethereum trades 1.9% higher. Ripple jumps almost 4%

Oil is trading a touch lower while natural gas gains

Precious metals pull back amid USD strengthening, with palladium being top laggard (-2%)

CAD and USD are the best performing major currencies while NZD and JPY lag the most

Nikkei (JAP225) was one of the few indices to gain during today’s cash session in Asia. However, the index failed to break above the 27,000 pts resistance zone, just as it was the case on Friday. While weak JPY is supporting domestic exporters, reluctance of BoJ to act may damage investors’ sentiment towards Japan.