Asian stocks mixed ahead of OPEC meeting
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Monday after oil prices slid on unease about this week’s meeting of OPEC member to discuss possible output cuts.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.9 percent to 22,926.19 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5 percent to 3,280.77. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to 1,982.73 and benchmarks in New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok also rose. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.1 percent to 18,356.89 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 sank 0.8 percent to 5,464.40. Manila and Jakarta also fell.
WALL STREET: Stocks hit fresh records in a shortened trading session Friday as investors bet on a pickup in economic growth and rising corporate profits. Utilities rose the most, up 1.4 percent and small-company stocks outpaced the market. Investors anticipate President-elect Donald Trump will taxes, reduce regulations and spend more on infrastructure, helping economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68.96 points, or 0.4 percent, to 19,152.14. The S&P 500 climbed 8.63 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,213.35. The Nasdaq composite added 18.24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,398.92. The Russell 2000 index, which has surged 16 percent since Nov. 3, increased for the 15th day in a row, its longest winning streak since early 1996.
OPEC WATCH: Major oil producers meet Wednesday to discuss production cuts to shore up prices, but Iran and Iraq have failed to agree to a reduction, raising jitters about the Vienna meeting’s outcome. OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, has suggested it might be open to no output cut, departing from previous statements in a move analysts suggested made an agreement this week less likely. The Saudis also pulled out of a meeting with Russia and other large non-OPEC producers, leaving all decisions to the Vienna meeting.
ANALYST’S TAKE: The latest developments suggest “cartel members may fail to agree on production cuts,” said Nicholas Teo of KGI in a report. “This game of brinkmanship will continue to the very end.” Teo said Trump’s win of the presidency could change market conditions due to his support for U.S. shale oil, which would add to global supply, exerting more downward pressure on prices. “Still, it is one thing to believe in any cuts that may be announced, and another to expect the cartel members to actually conform to their quotas.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained fell 9 cents to $45.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $1.90 on Friday to close at $46.06. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 6 cents to $48.18 per barrel in London. It dropped $1.78 the previous session to $48.24.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 112.15 yen from Friday’s 113.25. The euro gained to $1.0648 from $1.0593.