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Asian Stocks Mixed in Reaction to Oil’s Slide

By Gina Lee – Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday morning, losing their modest gains from the day before as they reacted to oil’s plunge during the last session.

WTI Futures plunged almost 25% overnight, while Brent Futures fell almost 7% as investors fear an inevitable global oversupply as the demand sapped by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of recovery.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.71% by 10:24 PM ET (3:24 AM GMT) as its March unemployment rate climbed to 2.5%, the highest in a year.

South Korea’s KOSPI dropped by 0.17% and the ASX 200 reversed its earlier losses to gain 0.20%. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up by 0.04% as HSBC announces its first quarter earnings later in the day and the city’s civil servants look to come back to the office next week.

China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 1.84% while the Shenzhen Component was up 0.24%.

Even as Johns Hopkins University data said that the number of global COVID-19 surpassed 3 million as of April 28, some investors were cautiously optimistic as some countries ease their lockdown measures and the number of new cases fall.

“Despite the consistently awful incoming economic data, investors understandably seem to have taken comfort from tentative signs that measures to control the coronavirus are working,” Oliver Jones, Capital Economics’ markets economist, said in a note. 

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