Stock market indices across Asia, including China's Shanghai Composite Index, were trading higher on 18 February. This followed a positive overnight close on the Wall Street and the Footsie, as oil prices recovered after hopes that some of the oil producing nations would freeze production levels.
Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said his country and Russia, the world's two largest crude producers, have agreed to freeze output after holding talks with several members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in Qatar on 16 February. Opec members including Qatar, Venezuela and Kuwait, also concurred to freezing their daily output. In response, Iran voiced its support for the freeze, which was initiated to deal with the oil oversupply that had pushed its prices to 12-year lows.
Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, said: "While there has been some confusion as to whether 'support' equals action, oil traders are simply relieved that the world's fourth-largest holder of oil reserves is willing to cooperate." Rhoo Yong-seok, a stock analyst at Hyundai Securities, opined: "Recovering oil prices have set the stage for an accelerated rebound in global stocks."
Indices in Asia traded as follows on 18 February at 5.28am GMT:
|China||Shanghai Composite Index||2,886.33||UP||0.66%|
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||19,384.77||UP||2.43%|
Meanwhile, overnight on 17 February the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 16,453.83, up 1.59%, while the FTSE 100 closed higher by 2.87% at 6,030.32.
Among commodities, WTI crude oil was trading 1.99% higher at $31.27 (£21.86, €28.08) a barrel, while Brent was up 1.51% at $35.02 a barrel at 5.34am GMT on 18 February.