Asian markets lower, oil rises on Iran worries

Rockland Register – Asian stock markets were lower while oil prices surged for a second day after reports Washington would like to block Iranian exports.

Tokyo’s benchmark woke upward while Shanghai, Seoul and also India retreated. Hong Kong and Sydney were closed for the holiday.

Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished a trading week Thursday snapping a winning series of three weekly earnings.

Investors appeared forward of U.S. quarterly gross domestic product due out Friday. While Japan declares factory output on Friday, also home sales is reported by the USA Tuesday.

“The extensive expectation is to get U.S. indices to grind higher,” said Jingyi Pan of IG Markets in a report.

“But with prices nearing all-time highs, a feeling of caution could be bound to set in,” Pan said. “the very first reading of U.S. Q1 GDP in the end of the week would be key for economies.”

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 12 points to 22,213.37 along with Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.1percent to 2,218.47. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 1.4percent to 3,250.91.

While Jakarta retreated Founded in Singapore and Taiwan climbed.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 gained 0.2percent to 2,905.03 before closing for Great Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.4percent to 26,559.54. The Nasdaq composite included less than 0.1percent to 7,998.06.

Oil prices rose following news reports that the Trump government will tell five countries, such as allies Japan, South Korea and Turkeyand they’ll no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions should they import oil from Iran.

Washington would like to step up pressure on Tehran by clipping of export earnings, U.S. officials told The Associated Press.

If successful, that could boost demand for supplies out of U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates but would heighten political tensions.

“The major fear now and perhaps the markets’ next significant catalyst, will Iran retaliate with pressure?” Stated Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management at a report.

The contract rose $1.20 on Friday to close at $64.07. It gained 35 cents the prior session for $71.97.

CURRENCY: The dollar earned to 111.94 yen out of Friday’s 111.91 yen.