While most Asian stock market indices were trading higher on Wednesday (30 November), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.91% at 3,253.21 as of 5.14am GMT. This follows an increase in oil prices amid hopes that the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will lead to a decline in future oil production.
Members of Opec are said to meet today. They will take a call on whether or not they should go ahead with their September preliminary agreement to cap crude production to about 32.5 to 33 million barrels per day versus the current production of 33.64 million barrels.
Despite previous disagreements over the same between a few Opec members, most analysts said they expect some form of deal to emerge from the meeting. "We expect Opec will reach an agreement ... We believe Opec's resolve in reaching an agreement remains strong," ANZ bank was quoted as saying by Reuters.
As investors await the Opec meeting's outcome, analysts at Goldman Sachs, Barclays and ANZ said that a deal to curb output could push oil prices to $50 (£40.07) per barrel and above. On the other hand, they said that a failure to agree on a production cut could push prices down to $40 a barrel or below.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.34am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,812.46||Up||0.33%|
Overnight (29 November), the FTSE 100 closed 0.40% lower at 6,772.00, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.12% higher at 19,121.60.
Among commodities, oil prices that plunged 4% on Tuesday were trading in the green. As of 5.37am GMT, WTI crude oil was trading higher by 0.57% at $45.49 a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 1.01% higher at $46.85 a barrel.