SYDNEY, Australia - Shares in Asia generally were sharply weaker on Monday, as investors and traders brace themselves for another volatile week.
One bright spot was the Australian share market which for no apparent reason rallied.
The U.S. dollar firmed a touch against the major currencies.
The biggest concern for markets is the economy. "We continue to mark down 1H20 global GDP forecasts as our assessment of both the global pandemic's reach and the damage related to necessary containment policies has increased," JPMorgan economist Bruce Kasman told Reuters Thomson Monday.
JPMorgan now predict global GDP could contract at a 10.5% annualized rate in the first half of the year.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan drew to a close with a loss of 716.36 points or 3.69%, to finish at 18,673.07.
The Australian All Ordinaries, going against the trend, rose 91.90 points or 1.89% to 4,966.10.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 309.17 points or 1.32% to 23,175.11.
China's Shanghai Composite shed 24.99 points or 0.90% to 2,747.21.
The euro slipped to 1.1089 by the Sydney close on Monday. The British pound drifted down to 1.2396. The Japanese yen eased to 107.70. The Swiss franc was a tad weaker at 0.9547.
The Canadian dollar was a smidgeon higher at 1.4025, as was the Australian dollar at 0.6150. The New Zealand dollar nudged up to 0.6028.