Hong Kong: Asia markets fell Monday with investors cautious on news of an international deal to shore up oil prices and tentative signs of progress in efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
OPEC producers dominated by Saudi Arabia and allies led by Russia thrashed out a compromise deal on Sunday to cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day from May.
Oil futures surged in early Asian trade, with WTI climbing nearly eight percent and Brent up five percent before both benchmarks pared their gains in afternoon trade.
"There remain concerns the agreement could be a day late and a 'barrel short' to prevent a decline in prices in the coming weeks as storage capacity brims," said AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes.
The weekend saw glimmers of hope that the crisis may have peaked in some of the hardest-hit countries.
"The most critical question for the economic outlook is whether, and how quickly, the coronavirus outbreak will decrease," said Innes.
"Politicians need to walk a fine line making sure that shutdown activity doesn't cause permanent and lasting damage to their domestic economies," he said.
Tokyo closed 2.3 percent lower on the back of a stronger yen and investor disappointment over a lack of asset-buying from the Bank of Japan.
Shanghai was down 0.5 percent and Singapore fell 0.3 percent in afternoon trade.
Hong Kong, Sydney and Wellington were closed for a public holiday...