Sun, February 05, 2023

Stocks in Asia, U.S. Crude Prices and Coronavirus Pandemic

Stock markets and main challenges

Stocks in Asia fell on Tuesday due to the problems connected with oil prices. Unfortunately, the May contract for the U.S. crude reentered negative territory.

Mainland Chinese stocks fell on April 21. The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.9% to about 2,827.01. At the same time, the Shenzhen composite fell from 0.817% to approximately 1,753.42.

Moreover, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 2.09% as of its final hour of trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 decreased by 1.97% to close at 19,280.78. Shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank fell on Tuesday. Shares of Fast Retailing dropped 3.74% and shares of Softbank fell 4.11% In the meantime, the Topix index decreased 1.15% to end its trading day at 1,415.89.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 plunged 2.46% to 5,221.30.

South Korea’s Kospi index fell 1% to close at 1,879.38. In the meantime, the Kosdaq index dropped 1.42% to finish its trading day at 628.77. The country’s currency Kwon also weakened against the U.S. dollar as it traded at 1,229.65 per dollar.

Stocks and main challenges

 Stocks, oil industry and coronavirus crisis

Numerous factors may affect stocks. On Tuesday, Virgin Australia announced that the company entered voluntary administration to stabilize the situation. The coronavirus pandemic caused a lot of problems for the aviation industry. Authorities around the world imposed restrictions to contain the virus’ spread.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 592.05 points lower at 23,650.44. At the same time, the S&P 500 dropped 1,8% to end its trading day at 2,823.16. Moreover, the Nasdaq Composite fell 1% to close at 8,560.73.

Interestingly, in the afternoon of Asian trading hours on Tuesday, the price of the May WTI contract shed earlier gains as it once more entered the negative territory at negative $4.29 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude futures decreased 7.27% to $23.71 per barrel. As in the case of aviation, the oil industry is also struggling to cope with problems.

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