Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Europe Shares Open Higher; Oil Markets In Focus

September 28, 2016

European stocks opened in positive territory on Wednesday as investors wait to see if any kind of oil output deal can be salvaged from a meeting of major oil producers in Algeria.

Oil markets are in focus for markets as major oil producers meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria. The forum is due to end on Wednesday and members of OPEC are expected to hold informal talks at 15:00 London time.

There were hopes that OPEC, alongside other influential non-OPEC producers such as Russia, could agree to a possible production freeze deal that would support oil prices. But crude futures fell about 3 percent on Tuesday after Iran rejected an offer from Saudi Arabia to limit its oil output in exchange for Riyadh cutting supply, dashing market hopes for a compromise.

On Wednesday, oil prices rose, however, as industry data showed a surprise draw in U.S. crude stocks, although worries over a lack of agreement among producers to curb output kept a lid on gains, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile in Asia, markets were mostly lower on Wednesday despite gains in the U.S. market on the back of the first presidential debate and better-than-expected U.S. consumer confidence data. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index hit 104.1 in September and was notably higher than the 99.0 print economists expected, also underpinned sentiment stateside.

In other business news, the chief executive of Wells Fargo has forfeited $41 million in awards and won't be paid a salary while an investigation is underway into the bank's sales scandal.

In Greece on Tuesday, lawmakers passed reforms sought by the country's lenders to cut pension spending and speed up the privatization process in exchange for financial aid under the country's latest international bailout.

Still disapproving of Greece's third rescue package, former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis told CNBC ‎that the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has less power than the leader of a local council.

"The Greek authorities commit to agreeing with institutions. I can assure you that if you were going to sign a contract like that with me you would become my slave."

There are no major earnings or data releases Wednesday.

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