Asia Markets: Asian markets little changed as Japan reports plunge in exports

Asia Markets: Asian markets little changed as Japan reports plunge in exports

21 May    Finance News

Asian markets were little changed in early trading Thursday, after Wall Street bounced back and Japan reported miserable exports data.

Japan’s Nikkei JP:NIK inched down slightly, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HK:HSI eked up a bit. The Shanghai Composite CN:SHCOMP rose 0.1% while the Shenzhen Composite CN:399106 slid 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi KR:180721 gained 0.5%, and benchmark indexes in Taiwan TW:Y9999 , Singapore SG:STI and Malaysia MY:FBMKLCI rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO was about flat.

On Wednesday, Japan reported its April exports plummeted nearly 22% while imports fell 7%, the worst monthly readings in more than a decade. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, and fell into recession in the first quarter due to coronavirus-related shutdowns.

China, meanwhile, is pushing to jump-start jobs lost to pandemic closures. As many as 30% of China’s urban workers are estimated to have lost their jobs, Fitch Ratings said, and the Associated Press reported the government is being pressured to get the economy going again as the country’s National People’s Congress is set to meet.

U.S. stock index futures slipped Wednesday night, after the S&P 500 closed at a 10-week high earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average US:DJIA advanced 369.04 points, or 1.5%, to finish at 24,575.90. The S&P 500 US:SPX climbed 48.67 points, or 1.7%, to end at 2,971.61, its highest close since March 6, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The Nasdaq Composite US:COMP rose 190.67 points, or 2.1%, closing at 9,375.78.

West Texas Intermediate crude US:CLN20 inched higher, as did Brent crude UK:BRNN20 , the global benchmark.

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The dollar US:USDJPY rose slightly to 107.63 yen..

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