Asian markets lower, oil Climbs on Iran concerns
Asian stock markets were lower while oil prices surged for another day Monday.
Tokyo’s benchmark woke up while Shanghai, Seoul and India retreated. Sydney and hong Kong were closed to the holiday.
Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished a shortened trading week Thursday minding a winning streak of three gains.
“The wide expectation will be to get U.S. indices to grind higher,” said Jingyi Pan of IG Markets at a report.
“But with prices nearing all-time highs, a sense of caution might be bound to install,” Pan said. “Earnings and the very first reading of U.S. Q1 GDP in the end of the week could be key for economies.”
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 12 points into 22,213.37 and Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.1% to 2,218.47. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4percent to 3,250.91.
While Jakarta retreated, benchmarks in Singapore and Taiwan climbed.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 gained 0.2% to 2,905.03 before closure for Great Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.4% to 26,559.54. The Nasdaq composite added less than 0.1percent to 7,998.06.
Oil prices rose following news reports the Trump administration will tell five countries, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkeyand they will no more be exempt from U.S. sanctions should they import oil from Iran.
Washington would like to measure pressure on Tehran by clipping of export revenue, U.S. officials told The Associated Press.
If successful, that would increase demand for supplies in U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates but would heighten political tensions.
“The big fear now and possibly the markets’ next significant catalyst, will Iran retaliate with force?” Said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management at a report.
Benchmark U.S. crude surged $1.55 to $65.62 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 35 cents the prior session to $71.97.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 111.94 yen from Friday’s 111.91 yen.