Asian share markets were pinned down on Thursday (April 2), haunted by the rising U.S. virus death toll.
Investors are bracing for further signs of economic pain in the world's largest economy, ahead of another likely record week of jobless claims. With hopes growing that the worst of the outbreak may have passed for China and South Korea, the mood was less bleak there.
Markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai saw modest gains.
Yet MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan struggled to advance, trading flat.
And Japan's Nikkei followed a heavy fall on Wednesday with a 1.4% drop.
Oil rose though, amid hints of an end to the Russia-Saudi Arabia price war, helping European shares rise amid choppy trading.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.3% The energy sector jumped 4.4%, with Shell, Total and BP providing the biggest boosts But those gains were capped by a 1% decline for travel & leisure stocks, financial services and utilities.
One of the world's biggest recruiters, Hays, slumped 13% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after announcing an emergency $248 million issue of shares.