Shares fall in Japan, Australia; most Asian markets are closed for holidays

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Stocks fell in Japan and Australia on Friday, with most major Asian markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, -0.22%, which closed Thursday for a holiday, fell 0.3%. Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 XJO -0.53% fell 0.5% after the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, imposed a coronavirus lockdown for at least five days, starting Saturday . The new restrictions were announced after a COVID-19 outbreak at a quarantined hotel.

Other Asian markets, including Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, were closed for the holidays. Chinese markets will reopen next Thursday, while Hong Kong markets will reopen on Tuesday. In energy markets, US benchmark crude oil CLH21, -0.70% fell to $ 57.79 per barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent BRNJ21 crude, -0.62%, the world benchmark, fell to $ 60.72 a barrel in London. USDJPY, + 0.04% was little changed at 104.82 yen.