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Asian Markets Trading Lower After Negative Outlook on Global Economy

People wearing face masks walk past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Stock exchanges in Asia are in negative territory Wednesday as investors react to predictions the global economy will suffer its worst year in more than eight decades.

Indexes in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Shanghai are all trading below one percent in the late afternoon session, with South Korea’s KOSPI index trading over 1.5%, providing the region’s only bright spot.

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that global economic output will shrink by 3% in 2020, with nearly all economic activity shut down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, making it the worst economic slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Oil markets were trading higher Wednesday, with U.S. crude prices up nearly 2% at $20.50 a barrel, while Brent crude, the international standard, up nearly 1% at $29.85.