On Thursday, the international benchmark Brent crude futures added 4.4% to $21.28. At the same time, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery gained 6.68% to $14.70 per barrel. Let’s have a look at the stocks across Asia.
It is worth mentioning that, Japan’s Nikkei 225 led gains among the region’s major markets. Its index added 1.52% to close at 19,429.44. Meanwhile, the Topix index rose 1.36% to finish its trading day at 1,425.98.
Unfortunately, mainland Chinese stocks saw losses on the day. For example, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.19% to 2,838.50. In the meantime, the Shenzhen composite dropped 0.5% to 1,763.03.
However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.3% as of its final hour of trading.
South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.98% to close at 1,914.73.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed slightly lower at 5,217.10.
The U.S. Stocks, economy and various factors
The coronavirus pandemic had a dramatic effect on the economy of South Korea. Importantly, the economy of South Korea saw the largest contraction since 2008 in the first quarter of 2020.
According to the country’s central bank, Gross Domestic Product fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.5% in the first quarter of this year compared with the last three months of 2019. There are serious challenges connected with domestic demand. For example, private consumption dropped 6.4% on-quarter, this is the worst result in more than 20 years.
The country’s government imposed various restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Thanks to such measures, the government of South Korea was able to stabilize the situation.
Moreover, last week the government began relaxing some social distancing rules. This decision comes at a time when Asia’s fourth-largest economy is moving toward its first technical recession since 2003.
Good news came from the U.S. On Wednesday, stocks rose for the first time in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 456.94 points or nearly 2% to close at 23,475.82. Moreover, the S&P 500 rose 2.3% to 2,799.31. The Nasdaq Composite gained 2.8% to close at 8,495.38.