All Asian indices, including China's Shanghai Composite Index, were trading lower on 23 February despite a positive close on Wall Street and the Footsie overnight. Investors' optimism declined even though WTI crude oil prices have seen an upswing. "The oil market seems to have become firmer recently," opined Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
Indices in Asia traded as follows on 23 February at 5.48am GMT:
|China||Shanghai Composite Index||2,898.89||Down||0.97%|
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||19,420.06||Down||0.23%|
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.40% at 16,620.66, while the FTSE 100 closed 1.47% higher at 6,037.73.
Among commodities, WTI crude oil prices, which have been declining for more than 18 months, firmed up following a statement by Abdalla Salem El-Badri, Opec's secretary general, that both Opec and non-Opec members will cooperate to find a solution to plunging oil prices.
This follows the 16 February meeting in Doha where Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to reduce production. While Venezuela, Qatar and Kuwait had also agreed to freeze, output, Iran which was not present at the meeting, disagreed and said it will continue to increase production.
WTI crude oil was trading 6.21% higher at $31.48 (£22.30, €28.52) a barrel, but Brent was down 1.84% at $34.05 a barrel at 6.03am GMT on 23 February.