The Japanese stock exchange started the new trading week with a loss on Monday. Investors slowed down after the solid turn on Friday and were looking forward to the earnings season starting in Japan this week. A sharp decline in Japanese exports in March also exerted price pressure. The other stock market indicators in the Asian region showed a mixed picture.
The leading Nikkei in Tokyo ended 1.2 percent lower at 19,669.12 points. On Friday, the Japanese main index increased by more than 3 percent. Japan’s exports plummeted 11.7 percent last month. That was the biggest drop since July 2016. Exports to China, Japan’s largest trading partner, fell 8.7 percent and exports to the United States declined 16.5 percent.
The main index in Shanghai was up 0.3 percent in the meantime. China again cut interest rates to lower borrowing costs for businesses and boost the economy. One-year interest rates fell from 4.05 percent to 3.85 percent, and five-year rates were cut from 4.75 percent to 4.65 percent. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong remained almost flat and the Kospi in Seoul lost 0.6 percent.
The All Ordinaries in Sydney lost over 2 percent. Australian oil companies suffered from a sharp fall in the oil price. The price of a barrel of American oil fell below $ 15 for the first time in two decades. This is mainly because the demand for oil has plummeted due to the corona crisis. Oil cartel OPEC, Russia and other oil producing countries recently agreed to cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day to boost prices. But that does not seem to have much effect yet.