Shares slipped on Friday, with investor focus turned to mainland Chinese stocks, with many major markets in the region closed for the Good Friday holiday.

Mainland stocks have been under pressure for much of the past week, as China contends with the worst COVID-19 outbreak since the start of the pandemic and as Shanghai remains under lockdown. Stocks rebounded a little on Thursday as hopes lift for some easing from the government, but back to negative territory on Friday, as China did not lower interest rates despite analysts’ expectations for more stimulus.

The Shanghai composite was down 0.41% by the evening. And in other markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.29%, while the South Korea’s KOSPI was also down around 0.76%.

Hong Kong markets are closed for the Good Friday holiday, as are Australia, Singapore, India, and New Zealand, as well as in Europe and U.S. Stock and bond trading will resume at their normal hours on Monday, the day after Easter.



Oil’s biggest weekly rally this month underlined global price pressures. Crude was bolstered by a report saying the European Union is moving toward adopting a phased ban on imports from Russia due to the war in Ukraine. Worries of tight supply continues after Russian on Tuesday said that peace talks with Ukraine had hit a dead end.

Market participants also assessed the risks on the demand side.In their respective monthly reports released earlier this week, the OPEC and the IEA both downwardly revised their forecasts for global oil demand this year.

The market is closed on Friday.



U.S. Treasury yields resumed their climb overnight, following a two-day decline, further buoying the greenback. Treasuries did not trade on Friday because of the Good Friday market holiday in the U.S., as well as other regions including Australia, Hong Kong and the U.K. On Thursday, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to multiyear highs, climbing 13 basis points to top 2.8%.

China's central bank kept borrowing costs of its medium-term policy loan unchanged for the third straight month as expected on Friday, despite Beijing calling for more monetary stimulus, given the COVID-19-induced slowdown.

Cryptocurrency bitcoin continued to consolidate close to a four-week low of $39,218.15 reached on Monday, last changing hands around $40,000.



Gold was set for a second consecutive weekly gain as the Ukraine crisis and broadening inflationary pressures lifted the safe-haven metal's appeal. Market is closed on Friday for a holiday.


Stocks fell in Asia on Friday as China unexpectedly opted against cutting a key policy interest rate, a reduction that had been widely expected to support an economy hamstrung by Covid lockdowns.

Equities were lower on the mainland and fell in Japan and South Korea, among the few markets open amid Easter holidays. China has indicated it will reduce the reserve requirement ratio for banks soon, which may have made a cut in the rate on one-year policy loans less urgent.

Investors also digested mixed earnings results and rising inflation, as well as development from the Russia-Ukraine war.

A hawkish comment from Federal Reserve officials reinforced expectations for faster U.S. policy tightening. New York Fed President John Williams said on Thursday that a half-point rate rise next month was "a very reasonable option," in a further sign that even more cautious policymakers are on board with faster monetary tightening.