Asian markets fall, trading muted with Good Friday holiday

TOKYO — Asian stocks fell in muted trading, with many markets closed for Good Friday and other holidays.

The Japanese reference Nikkei 225 NIK,
-0.28%
lost 0.4% The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP,
-0.62%
fell 0.6% while South Korea’s Kospi 180721,
-0.57%
decreased by 0.7%. Markets in Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore were among those closed, observing public holidays on Friday. US and European markets were also closed.

Closures in major Chinese cities due to coronavirus outbreaks and the war in Ukraine are weighing on sentiment.

“The inflationary effects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict are now more significant than direct military developments in a market sense. These consequences have created an uncertain environment that could keep investors wary,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

“It should be a quiet session given the Good Friday holiday,” he added.

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that Russia’s war on Ukraine is clouding the economic outlook for most countries in the world and reiterated the danger high inflation poses to the global economy.

Shares closed lower on Wall Street as investors gave mixed reviews of earnings at four of the nation’s biggest banks. The S&P 500 SPX,
-1.21%
fell 1.2% to 4,392.59, ending a shortened trading week with a 2.1% drop.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.33%
fell 0.3% to 34,451.23. The Nasdaq COMP,
-2.14%
fell 2.1% to 13,351.08.

Bond yields rose again, pushing the 10-year Treasury yield to 2.83%.

“With higher oil prices, higher bond yields, (it) implies that the market continues to be worried about inflation, about Ukraine, about the Fed’s response to all of this,” he said. Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude CLK22,
+2.20%
added $2.70 to $106.95 a barrel on Thursday, closing nearly 11% higher for the week. Brent crude BRNM22,
-0.04%,
the international standard, gained $2.92 to $111.70 a barrel. Markets were closed on Friday.

In currency trading, the US dollar USDJPY,
+0.39%
rose to 126.42 Japanese yen from 125.89 yen.

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