Asian Markets Mixed as Oil Prices Recover Following Monday’s 20% Plunge 

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By Alex Ho – Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday in Asia as oil prices recovered from Monday’s more than 20% plunge.

China’s gained 0.6% by 10:43 PM ET (02:43 GMT), while the dropped 0.4% after data showed in the country fell 0.4% from a year earlier, compared with the expectations of a 0.3% drop.

rose 5.2% as compared to a year earlier, in line with forecasts.

Hong Kong’s gained 1.5%.

Japan’s inched down 0.1%, while South Korea’s stayed little changed.

Down under, Australia’s traded 1.3% higher.

Investor sentiment recovered somewhat today after oil prices rebounded from the 24% plunge yesterday, which was their worst one-day drop since 1991.

A potential price war and escalating tensions between Russia and Saudi Arabia were cited as the catalyst for the oil selling on Monday as OPEC failed to strike a deal with its allies, led by Russia, about oil production cuts.

On the coronavirus front, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said they saw signs that the virus seems to have been controlled in China and some other countries such as Singapore.

However, the officials noted that the virus is now present in more than 100 countries globally, while confirmed cases have topped 100,000.

“In many countries, it will get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of WHO’s emergencies program.

“Absolutely, we see a light at the end of the tunnel, but how quickly we get there depends on what countries do.”

China reported 19 new confirmed cases and 17 additional deaths as of March 9, according to the country’s National Health Commission, bring the total number of infection to 80,754, with 3,136 deaths to-date.

Globally, there were at least 110,029 confirmed cases and 3,817 reported deaths, according to the WHO.

Overnight, the declined 7.79% to hit a new 52-week low, while the S&P 500 index fell 7.60%, and the declined 7.29%.

It was their biggest one-day slide in stocks since the financial crisis in 2008.

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