Majority of Asian stock market indices were trading higher on 31 May with the Shanghai Composite Index up 2.91% at 2,904.67 as of 6.04am GMT. This follows positive economic data released by Japan and Goldman Sachs increasing the odds of Chinese A-category shares to be included in the MSCI indexes.
The most recent report released by the American investment bank said that there is now a 70% chance that MSCI, a US-based provider of equity, fixed income, and hedge fund stock market indexes, will include mainland Chinese shares. This is up from the earlier 50% probability. Investors in the region reacted positively to the report as it will attract more foreign investment into China.
On the other hand, Japanese data on industrial output and household spending for the month of April was better than expected. While the former saw a 0.3% increase from March, the latter declined 0.4% year-on-year.
Indices in rest of Asia traded as follows on 31 May at 6.20am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,932.42||UP||1.47%|
Last week (27 May), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,873.22, up 0.25%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,270.79, up 0.08%.
Among commodities, oil prices were hovering around the $50 (£34.06, €44.93) mark ahead of the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which is scheduled on 2 June. However, most analysts do not expect Opec members to cut their production targets at the meeting. On 31 May, WTI crude oil was trading 0.67% higher at $49.66 a barrel, while Brent was trading 0.12% lower at $49.70 a barrel at 6.27am GMT.