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Oil prices plummet in Asia after Thursday’s spike: live updates


Asian stocks are falling as the Wall Streets rally fades.

On Friday, stocks were slightly down in the Asian noon session, paving the way for a turbulent week’s bearish end in the financial markets.

Australian stocks fell more than 1%, keeping pace with the downturn. Futures markets suggested that Europe and Wall Street would also open lower.

Wall Street stocks surged Thursday after President Trump suggested that Saudi Arabia and Russia are calling for a truce in their confrontation over oil prices and cut production. While the abundant oil reserves and low fuel prices are generally positive for the world economy, the price shock came at a time of declining demand as the response to the coronavirus epidemic slowed the economic activity in the world. Falling oil prices threatened to destabilize the countries and regions where the local economy depends on oil production.

Oil prices jumped Thursday after comments by Trumps sparked a recovery, but they gave up some of those gains in Asian trade on Friday. Bond prices have risen as investors seek to invest their money in investments generally considered to be safe.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index lost 0.6%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index fell 0.6%. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite index fell 0.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6%.

Oil prices surged Thursday, triggering a rebound in energy company stocks, after President Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut oil production significantly to stop the collapse in prices.

Crude oil futures, which had already climbed Thursday, jumped and stocks of oil and gas companies rallied. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for crude, rose by about 25%, and Occidental Petroleum was the top performer in the S&P 500, gaining around 19%. Apache increased by almost 17%, and Halliburton earned more than 13 percent.

Google said it uses the data it collects on where people go to help governments and public health officials assess the effectiveness of policies such as on-site accommodation and work at homes designed to reduce crowds in public places.

In a blog post Friday morning, Google said it publishes so-called mobility reports for 131 countries on the aggregated and anonymized location database of Google Maps users to show recent changes in travel patterns. There are also regional distributions. In the United States, Google will detail the data for the 50 states and counties of these states.

Reports come from the way Google Maps uses location data to provide users with information about restaurant or store traffic on a certain day of the week or at a certain time. Google said it uses location history data provided by users. The feature is not enabled by default and users must agree to share location data with the company. The company said it would share the data globally so that individual movements are not revealed.

We’ve heard from public health officials that the same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be useful as they make critical decisions to fight Covid-19, Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Google Maps, and Karen DeSalvo, head of health at Google Health, wrote in the blog.

Friday’s monthly employment report is expected to end nearly a decade of gains.

Another measure of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States will be released on Friday. It may not be many, but it will likely be a milestone.

The figure, taken from the Labor Departments employment report for March, is expected to show a net loss of jobs for the first time since the end of 2010. Data was mainly collected in the first half of the month, before the wave of business closings and layoffs. which have led to nearly 10 million new jobless claims in the past two weeks.

Wall Street economists want the report to show the loss of 100,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate rising to 3.8% from a half-century low of 3.5% in February.

But double-digit unemployment figures may soon arrive. The Congress Budget Office said Thursday that it expected unemployment to reach 10% in the second quarter of 2020, as high as the peak of the last recession, and that it would remain at 9% by the end of 2021.

Before the pandemic disrupted normal trade, the economy had created jobs for 113 consecutive months, more than double the previous record. During this period, a net total of 22.2 million jobs were created in a steady, if not always spectacular, expansion.

The reports were provided by Daisuke Wakabayashi, Nelson D. Schwartz, Jim Tankersley, Carlos Tejada and Daniel Victor.

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