Asian shares mixed after Wall St dips on pandemic worries

Asian shares were mixed Thursday after a decline on Wall Street after more depressing data rolled in on the devastation sweeping the global economy.

Asian Shares

“Asian stocks are off to a sluggish start following gloomy COVID-19 figures, dismal U.S. private payroll data, Trump’s tough talk on China, and as Japan returns from Golden Week holidays. Both the US and global fatalities jumped to the highest levels since April 21st,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

  • Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.2% in morning trading to 19,659.20, reopening after Golden Week holidays.
  • South Korea’s Kospi added 0.1% to 1,930.90.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2% to 5,372.30.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell nearly 0.7% to 23,973.95.
  • The Shanghai Composite was flat at 2,878.43.

Currency Markets

  • The dollar inched up to 106.18 Japanese yen from 106.13 yen Wednesday.
  • The euro rose to $1.0803 from $1.0795.

Oil Prices

Energy stocks slipped after oil prices gave up some of their gains from earlier in the week. But oil was on the rebound Thursday.

  • Benchmark U.S. crude oil up 5 cents to $24.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 57 cents, or 2.3%, to $23.99 a barrel Wednesday.
  • Brent crude oil, the international standard, lost 1 cent to $29.71 a barrel.

Bonds

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 0.69% down slightly 0.70% late Wednesday. That’s up from its record low of below 0.40% set in early March, but it’s still well below the roughly 1.90% it was yielding at the start of the year.
  • Yields tend to fall when investors are downgrading their expectations for the economy and inflation.

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