Morning Report

Equity

Stocks in Asia were mixed in Monday morning trade, while markets in Australia and Hong Kong were closed for the Easter Monday holiday.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.2 percent in early trade. The Topix index also shed 0.33 percent. Over in South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.14 percent.

Retail sales in the U.S. rose by 1.6 percent last month, the strongest gain since September 2017. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected a gain of 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Libya’s capital Tripoli was hit by a series of air strikes and explosions over the weekend. The country, a major exporter in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has been torn by conflict since the fall of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. It was sent into fresh conflict in recent weeks after its eastern military leader ordered his forces to move in on the capital where the United Nations-recognized government sits.

Oil

Oil prices advanced in the morning of Asian trading hours, with the international benchmark Brent crude futures contract adding 0.72 percent to $72.49 per barrel. U.S. crude futuresalso gained 0.80 percent to $64.51 per barrel.

Currency

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.369 after touching lows below 96.9 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.91 after touching lows above 112.0 in the previous week, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7146 after seeing highs around the $0.720 last week.