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Asian Markets Making Gains in Midweek Trading

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Asian stock markets gained Wednesday after France and Spain joined governments that plan to…

Oil markets on the rebound as more countries ease COVID-19 lockdowns.

Asian markets are trading higher Wednesday as many countries continued with efforts to ease restrictions imposed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Sydney all enjoyed significant gains by late Wednesday afternoon, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index is closed due to a national holiday.

Oil prices are also back on the upswing, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude trading at $13.53 per barrel, up 9.6%, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at $21.16, an increase of 3.4%.

Oil markets have been struggling since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, with government imposed quarantines choking off demand and causing a massive glut of supplies. U.S. crude prices plunged last week below $0 per barrel last week for the first time in history.

The latest selloff in U.S. crude came Tuesday after the United States Oil Fund, a popular exchange-traded fund, announced it would sell all of its contracts for June.