SYDNEY: Caution gripped Asian share markets on Monday on expectations a busy week of corporate earnings reports and economic data will drive home the damage done by the global virus lockdown, while a glut of supply sent US crude spiralling to 20-year lows.
Japan reported its exports fell almost 12% in March from a year earlier, with shipments to the United States down over 16%.
Early readings on April manufacturing globally are due on Thursday and are expected to show recession-like data. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2% in slow trade, with a pause needed after five straight weeks of gains. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.9% and Shanghai blue chips 2.4% even as China cut benchmark interest rates, as widely expected. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, having jumped last week on hopes some US states would soon start to re-open their economies. US President Donald Trump said that Republicans were close to getting a deal with Democrats.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2020.
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