By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares slumped on Friday, after flaring Ukraine tensions spoiled investor risk appetite and bolstered the safe-haven yen. Ukraine's president said Russian troops had entered his country in support of pro-Moscow rebels who captured a key coastal town, escalating a five-month-old separatist conflict. The United States on Thursday openly accused Russia of sending combat forces into Ukraine and threatened to tighten economic sanctions, but Washington stopped short of calling Moscow's latest step an invasion. "Risky assets were weaker on rising concerns about Russia-Ukraine, as well as weak data out of the euro area," strategists at Barclays wrote in a note to clients.
The group, known as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or FS-ISAC, includes all major U.S. "There are no credible threats posed to the financial services sector at this time," the group said in an email to its members. FS-ISAC told members in the email that it decided not to raise its barometer of threats facing banks during a regularly scheduled conference call on Thursday.
By Leika Kihara and Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese household spending fell much more than expected and factory output remained weak in July after plunging in June, government data showed, suggesting that soft exports and a sales tax hike in April may drag on the economy longer than expected. While the Bank of Japan is in no mood to expand monetary stimulus any time soon, the data undermines the BOJ's rosy economic forecasts and will keep it under pressure to act if the economy fails to gather momentum, analysts say. The soft readings may also fuel speculation that the government could delay a second sales tax increase scheduled for next year, or try to compile another fiscal stimulus package, which would further worsen Japan's debt burden. "Production and consumption are both stagnating, and the economy is clearly undershooting projections of the government and the BOJ," said Taro Saito, senior economist at NLI Research Institute.
By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Dalian Wanda group and Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Friday they would set up a 5 billion yuan ($814 million) e-commerce joint venture with Baidu Inc , as the firms push into the high-growth e-commerce sector. The joint venture, to be registered in Hong Kong, will be 70 percent owned by privately-held Wanda, while Chinese internet giants Tencent and Baidu will hold 15 percent respectively, Wanda and Tencent said in separate press releases. China is the biggest e-commerce market in the world, with its No. 1 player, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N], transacting more goods than Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc combined.