Stocks fall in Japan, Australia; most Asian markets closed for holiday

Stocks in Japan and Australia fell in early trading Friday following losses on Wall Street, as most Asian markets were closed for holidays.

Japan’s Nikkei
slid 2.3% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
tumbled 3.6%, while New Zealand’s NSX-50
declined 0.5%. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia were closed for Labor Day.

In Tokyo, Toyota
and Honda
fell, as did Sony
and Fast Retailing
. Commonwealth Bank
and Westpac
declined in Sydney.

South Korea reported exports fell in April at their steepest rate since the financial crisis in 2009, as coronavirus-related shutdowns continued to weigh on the global economy.

U.S stock futures fell late Thursday after Apple
and Amazon
posted earnings but warned of uncertainty in the coming quarter amid the COVID-10 pandemic. U.S. stocks ended lower Thursday as investors weighed mixed corporate earnings. Later in the day, President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs against China as retaliation over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished 288.14 points, or 1.2%, lower at 24,345.72, while the S&P 500 index
lost 27.08 points, or 0.9%, to close at 2,912.43. The Nasdaq Composite
shed 25.16 points, off 0.3%, to end at 8,889.55.

Still, for the month, the Dow gained 11.1%, while the S&P 500 ended up 12.7%, representing their best monthly gains since 1987 and their best April performances since 1938, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The Nasdaq booked a monthly return of 15.5%, its best month since 2000 and the best April for the technology-laden index on record.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery
, the U.S. benchmark, was up 84 cents, or 4.4%, at $19.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude
, the international standard, gained 52 cents to $27.00 per barrel.

In currency trading, the dollar
fetched 107.16 Japanese yen, down from 107.13 yen on Thursday.

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