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Asian Markets Fall Ahead of New Gauges of Damage

Asian markets fell moderately on Thursday as investors held their breath over data that could add to the picture of how the world economy is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Hong Kong and Australia led the declines in the Asia-Pacific region. Futures markets signaled muted openings in Europe and on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 was off a slim 0.2% while South Korea .KS11 added 0.2%. Chinese blue chips .CSI300 were just a fraction lower, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 bounced 0.5%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.5 percent. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite index was flat.

Washington is expected on Thursday to post the latest monthly payroll data, showing the extent of the toll of the outbreak and efforts to contain it. While an ebb in new cases in some of the hardest-hit places has given investors some reason to cheer, they also face the prospect of a surge in new infections in other places, particularly as lockdown efforts ease.

Highlighting the worries, prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, typically seen as a place to park money during times of turbulence, were higher in early Thursday trading. In one bright spot for investors, oil prices on futures markets rose, offering hope that a particularly turbulent market may be stabilizing.

The yen was additionally low cost by many measures, he argued, with honest worth put at round 85 per greenback.

In commodity Markets, gold eased on expectations that provides will develop as bullion refineries resume operations. The metallic was final at $1,689.68 an oz.

Oil costs turned flat after a six-session streak of positive aspects which noticed Brent virtually double since hitting a 21-year low in April. Brent crude futures have been final up Three cents at $29.70 a barrel, whereas U.S. crude rose 6 cents to $24.05.