TOKYO — Global markets mostly fell in muted trading Monday, as markets in Hong Kong, Australia and Europe were closed for Easter.
KEEPING SCORE: Trading in France, Germany and Britain was closed for Easter and was to resume Tuesday. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.4 percent at 24,061. S&P 500 futures lost 0.3 percent to 2,635. New York trading was off for a long weekend on Good Friday and was resume Monday.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to close at 21,388.58, while South Korea’s Kospi was down nearly 0.1 percent at 2,444.16. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.2 percent to 3,163.18. Indexes in Southeast Asia were mixed.
TRADE FEARS: Fears are still simmering that U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff programs could set off a trade war. China raised import duties on U.S. pork, fruit and other products Monday in response to a U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum. A bigger dispute looms over Trump’s approval of possible higher duties on nearly $50 billion of Chinese goods.
JAPAN ECONOMY: A quarterly business outlook survey by Japan’s central bank shows corporate sentiment has worsened for the first time in two years. The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” index for large manufacturers was 24 in March, down two points from December.
THE QUOTE: “The market’s biggest fears about escalating trade war and higher U.S. interest rates have tentatively blown over, suggesting investors will shift into bargain-hunting mode,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at Oanda.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 18 cents to $65.12 a barrel. Trading had stopped for the long Easter weekend. On Thursday, benchmark U.S. crude rose 56 cents to $64.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 33 cents to $69.67 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 106.29 yen from 106.23 late Friday. The euro inched up to $1.2331 from $1.2329.
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