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Asian Markets Lower During Light Trading Day

Share prices fell in Asia Monday as investors steeled themselves for this week’s  earnings reports from U.S. corporate giants, giving them a glimpse of how the coronavirus pandemic has throttled the global economy. 

Japan’s Nikkei index ended the trading day with a 2.3% loss, while the indexes in Shanghai and Taipei lost around one-half of one percent on average. Financial markets in Hong Kong and Australia and other regional markets were closed Monday in observance of the Easter holiday. The markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt are also closed for the holiday. 

U.S. futures markets were trading lower hours ahead of Monday’s opening bell, with the S&P, Dow Jones and Nasdaq all down well over 1.3% 

Oil markets were on the rise Monday after a historic deal was reached between OPEC nations and Russia to cut oil production to nearly 10 million barrels a day as falling demand due to the pandemic and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia sent oil prices crashing.    

U.S. crude finished about 3% higher at over $23 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, rose about 2.7% to finish at $32 per barrel.

Source: Voice of America

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