Asian Markets Fall as Investors Await China’s Key Data on Its Progress in Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Key Points:

Oil deal reached, boosting oil prices. Oil and virus driving attitude.

Hong Kong’s Stock market closed for the Easter holiday.

Asian stocks slipped Monday in reserved trading, as investors weighed a sizable oil deal to scale back output and awaiting China to release key data due later this week which will offer signs of how the world’s second-largest economy is combating upheaval caused by the Coronavirus.

Hong Kong was among the markets closed for the Easter holiday. US futures pointed lower.

Oil and the virus were driving attitudes across the markets.

Top oil producers agreed to reduce petroleum output by one-tenth this was following the Saudi-Russia price war amid an already depressed demand thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. The deal was reached following Friday’s talks involving the OPEC + members and a group of 23 countries.

The coronavirus has now got to 114,000 deaths worldwide. The pandemic has pushed the worldwide markets and economies into recession, This has caused a massive business disruption, and put about half of the world’s population under lockdown.

The outbreak began in China, which then launched lockdowns to contain the virus. Now, China’s factories are starting to return to work, with the semiconductor industry among those favored by analysts.

March’s economic data from exports to industrial production and retail sales this week will give investors signs of how China’s economy is recovering from the pandemic situation following months of closures and lockdowns.

The Shanghai Composite Index on Monday fell by 0.5% to 2,787.28 as of 1:30 pm, while the ChiNext gauge of smaller companies fell 1.8%, as agricultural and electronics companies suffered the worst of the selling.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia-Pacific at OANDA said “Asia will be focused this week on China’s Balance of Trade tomorrow, and its Q1 GDP on Friday. Markets are looking for a bounce-back in the BoT … a continuation of the improvements in China’s data as the country continues its post-COVID-19 reopening. GDP, though, is expected to shrink for the quarter by 6.2 percent,”

He went on to say “With so much hope hoisted onto China’s shoulders to lead the world out of the COVID-19 recession, (China) data points are likely to cause strong market reactions on a substantial positive or negative divergence from consensus,”

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark fell by 2.1%. The country is on a semi lockdown targeting heavily populated areas in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, and its government has unveiled an unprecedented care package of 1 trillion USD in an attempt to assist businesses and households stay afloat.

In South Korea, the Kospi fell by 1.3%, while the tech-heavy Kosdaq fell by 1.6%.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, the Straits Time Index fell by 0.1%.

Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia markets will reopen Tuesday. There was also no trading on Monday on the Stock Connect between Hong Kong and China.

Experts are pointing to discouraging results out of China.

Exports have dropped by 12.8% from this time last year, industrial production dropped by 6.8% and retail sales dropped by 9.8%, consistent with the projections of the experts.

Fixed-asset investment dropped by 10% in the first quarter. China’s economy may have reduced by 6% within the first three months, heralding the first decline in growth in history, according to the data. Additional data is due on Tuesday and Friday. So let’s see what that may mean to the markets.

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