Asian markets were all trading lower Thursday in reaction to a gloomy assessment about the struggles facing the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan’s Nikkei index was down 1.5 percent in late afternoon trading, while Hong Kong had lost 1.3 percent. The indexes in Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Taipei were also posting significant losses.
The big selloff in Asia mirrors Wednesday’s losses on Wall Street, sparked by a warning from Jerome Powell, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, that the current economic downturn caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak will last into the foreseeable future.
In futures trading, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are slightly lower, indicating the losses will continue into Thursday.
While equities are losing ground, the price of oil is on the upswing. The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $25.51 per barrel, up 0.8 percent, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, is selling at $29.35 per barrel, up 0.5 percent.