Asian stocks were mostly lower today (April 1st), led by Wall Street's slide overnight, as crude oil prices continued to decline after negotiations between Iran and world powers over nuclear technology extended beyond the March 31st deadline. The parties failed to reach an agreement around the lifting of United Nations sanctions.
US crude oil was down 0.3 per cent at $47.46 (£32.10) a barrel, while Brent crude edged down 0.1 per cent to $55.08 a barrel.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Markit's purchasing managers index for eurozone countries found the strongest improvement in business conditions in ten months, standing at 52.2, compared with 51.0 in March.
However, the Greek debt crisis weighed on investors' minds as Athens failed on Tuesday to reach an initial deal on reforms with its lenders, and it now faces the prospect of running out of money in a few weeks.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index was down 0.9 per cent to 19,034.84 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.6 per cent to 2,028.45. Australia's S&P ASX/200 fell 0.5 per cent to 5,860.80. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.7 per cent to 25,074.61 and the Shanghai Composite Index added 1.7 per cent to 3,810.29 on stimulus hopes.
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