By Associated Press
BEIJING — Asian stocks fell Friday after Wall Street gained for the first time in three days on stronger oil prices despite enduring uncertainty about how long the global economic decline due to the coronavirus pandemic will last.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.45% slipped 0.2% while South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.52% retreated 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.22% fell 0.6% and the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.17% declined 0.3%. Stocks fell in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -2.17% but rose in Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI -1.06% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.06% . Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.36% fell 0.4%.
Oil prices gave up some of the previous day’s gains.
U.S. stocks jumped Thursday after the price of crude surged by 25% following President Donald Trump’s comment on Twitter that he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to back away from their price-cutting war.
“As volatility slowly adjusts lower, it looks as if the extreme panic sell-off appears to be easing off as well,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.
U.S. stocks gained despite more data showing millions more Americans losing their jobs.
Markets usually welcome lower energy costs for companies and consumers. But the abrupt plunge to below $20 this week from $60 at the start of the year triggered fears heavily indebted producers might default, causing more damage to credit markets.
Trump said on Twitter he expects production cuts are coming after talking with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
By the end of trading Thursday, benchmark U.S. crude rose $5.01, or 24.7%, to $25.32 per barrel.
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.24% rose 2.3% to 2,526.90. It dropped as much as 0.6% earlier Thursday after the U.S. government reported more than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.04% gained 2.2% and the Nasdaq /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.43% rose 1.7% to 7,487.31.
Roughly one of every 16 working Americans has applied for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks. Economists expect that to rise. That has many investors bracing for what may be the worst recession of their lifetimes.
On Friday, U.S. crude declined 98 cents to $24.34 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude , used to price international oils, shed 90 cents to $29.04 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0632% edged up to 107.92 yen from Thursday’s 107.90 yen.