- Stocks in Asia Pacific were little changed in Wednesday morning trade.
- The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that the global economy is set to see its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
- Markets in South Korea are closed on Wednesday as the country heads to the polls for legislative elections.
Stocks in Asia were little changed in Wednesday morning trade as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on investor sentiment.
Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed in early trade, with the Shanghai composite fractionally lower while the Shenzhen composite added 0.296%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged 0.54% higher.
Stocks in Japan, were negative. The Nikkei 225 dipped 0.35% as shares of Fanuc fell 2.31% while FamilyMart dropped 4.21%. The Topix index also shed 0.43%.
Shares in Australia shed earlier gains and fell into negative territory, as the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.65%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.33% higher.
Markets in South Korea are closed on Wednesday as the country heads to the polls for parliamentary elections.
Developments around the coronavirus pandemic will likely continue to be in focus for investors, with the International Monetary Fund warning on Tuesday that the global economy is set to see its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The Washington-based organization now expects the global economy to contract by 3% in 2020. By contrast, in January it had forecast a global GDP (gross domestic product) expansion of 3.3% for this year.
Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 558.99 points to close at 23,949.76. The S&P 500 added 3.1% to end its trading day at 2,846.06 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced nearly 4% to close at 8,515.74. Tuesday's moves gave the Nasdaq its first four-day winning streak since early February.
Oil prices up
Oil prices rose in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.52% to $30.05 per barrel while U.S. crude futures were 1.84% higher at $20.48 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 98.869 after slipping from levels above 99.0 yesterday.
The Japanese yen traded at 107.11 per dollar after seeing levels above 107.2 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6417 after rising from levels below $0.64 yesterday.
What's on tap for Wednesday:
- Indonesia: Balance of trade for March at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN
– CNBC's Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.
Correction: This article was updated to reflect that South Korea's markets are closed on Wednesday.