A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. Asian shares were lower on Friday as investors continued to watch the brewing trade conflict between China and the US. Associated Press
The Japanese yen regained its footing on Friday after a bruising week, as the spread of coronavirus cases knocked down stocks and boosted demand for traditional safety plays from bonds to gold.
Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Friday after President Donald Trump threatened to slap new tariffs on China over the coronavirus crisis, while a profit warning from Amazon added to the gloom.
Japan’s government slashed its economic growth forecast for this year largely due to weaker exports, in a sign the protracted US-China trade war is taking a bigger toll on the world’s third-largest economy.
Tokyo and Shanghai stocks closed higher on Friday but trade lacked direction with several major markets closed for Easter holidays. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.50 per cent, or 110.44 points, to 22,200.56, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.12 per cent, or 1.96 points, to 1,616.93.
Risk sentiment was also undermined after Federal Reserve officials expressed concern that rising coronavirus cases could harm economic growth just as stimulus measures start to expire.
A string of positive indicators from China to the US in recent weeks — as well hopes for a vaccine and the easing of lockdowns around the world — has added fuel to a global rally that has lifted equities out of the March depths.
Across Pakistan's "mango belt" in Punjab and Sindh provinces, farmers say a long winter and changing rain patterns have slashed production by up to half this year -- just as virus shutdowns sparked border restrictions and spiralling export costs.
The United Arab Emirates stock markets closed higher on Tuesday, led by financials and property shares. Dubai’s main share index gained 0.5%, led by a 1.5% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.5% gain in Emirates NBD Bank.