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European stocks rebound awaiting OPEC decision


Brokers are pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND /

Brokers are pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND /

European stock markets rebounded on Wednesday, brushing aside a broad retreat across Asia, as investors paid close attention to a meeting of OPEC to tackle a global supply glut.

Around 1030 GMT, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.7 percent. In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 and Paris CAC 40 indices each jumped 1.0 percent compared with closing levels on Tuesday.

In foreign exchange, the euro was down slightly at $1.1214.

“European equity markets are positive, following oil prices higher, as investors eye Algiers in the hope that today’s OPEC meeting will reach some compromise” on crude production, said Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of Investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor.

“Although an agreement to curb output today would be a major surprise, the debate may pave the way for a potential deal at their next meeting,” she said.

Oil prices rebounded also Wednesday, with benchmark Brent North Sea crude up nearly 2.0 percent at $46.83 a dollar.

Prices had slumped Tuesday however as Iran ruled out an imminent agreement with other major oil producers to even maintain current output levels, let alone trim them back, amid regional rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said ahead of OPEC’s meeting in Algeria on Wednesday that the Islamic republic was not yet ready to join a mooted production freeze to help tackle excess supplies that have weighed heavily on prices since 2014.

“Oil prices have been particularly volatile as of late as traders have sought to pick apart comments from OPEC members and other large oil producers and determine whether a deal on an output freeze is any more likely than it’s been in the past,” said Oanda market analyst Craig Erlam.

“Producers have made every effort to talk up a deal in recent weeks and at times markets have taken the bait but it looks as though once again they’re going to fall short.”

Elsewhere Wednesday, Tokyo’s Nikkei stocks index closed down 1.3 percent, with a stronger yen dampening buying appetite.

– Key figures at 1030 GMT –
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 6,855.83 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.0 percent at 10,469.75

Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.0 percent at 4,442.62

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.9 percent at 2,997.09

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.3 percent at 16,465.40 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 23,619.65 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent to 2,987.86 (close)

New York – DOW: UP 0.7 percent at 18,228.30 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1214 from $1.1217 late Tuesday

Dollar/yen: UP at 100.72 yen from 100.36 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3008 from $1.3011

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