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Oil prices move higher after OPEC+ deal, while global stocks slump ahead of a big week for data

Oil prices improved during Asian trading hours Monday after OPEC+ reached an unprecedented deal to slash production, while global stocks slumped ahead of a week chock full of reports that will offer a look at how major economies and corporations have been hit by the coronavirus.

US oil futures advanced 5% to $23.90 a barrel as traders returned from an extended holiday and cheered a deal to slash oil production by 9.7 million barrels a day starting next month. Futures for Brent, the global benchmark, climbed 4.5% to $32.88 a barrel. The deal is meant to help stabilize the energy market, which has been rocked by a price war and the coronavirus pandemic.

In stocks, Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) and South Korea's Kospi (KOSPI) fell 1.2% and 0.8%, respectively, in early trading. China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) lost 0.6%. Hong Kong markets remain closed for the Easter holiday and will reopen on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Dow (INDU) futures fell 320 points, or 1.4%. S&P 500 (SPX) futures and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were also down about 1.4% each.

Investors are anticipating a busy week.

On Friday, China is scheduled to release its first-quarter GDP figures that will reveal how badly the coronavirus crisis damaged the world's second largest economy. Many economists are predicting the country's first contraction in decades.

And many companies will report first quarter earnings this week, which are expected to be dismal because of the coronavirus crisis. Major banks, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are set to report during the first half of this week.

US retail sales and industrial production reports for March are also scheduled to be published on Wednesday, which will offer a further look at the toll coronavirus has taken on the country's economy.

How bad will earnings be? Nobody really knows

Many businesses, particularly retailers and restaurants, are closed. The airline, hospitality and auto industries have ground to a halt.


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