After a battering Tuesday, Asian stock markets broadly recovered in Wednesday trade, led by the energy sector as oil prices rebounded amid optimism over a deal to freeze crude production. European stock markets also opened higher after ending Tuesday at multi-week lows.
Japan’s benchmark index, the Nikkei 225, closed 0.11 percent lower after a turbulent session. The strength of the yen against the dollar, currently near an 18-month high, has been pressuring Japanese stocks even as the rest of the region makes gains.
The Shanghai Composite index in China was flat after range-bound trade and closed 0.08 percent lower, while the Shenzhen Composite index gained 0.54 percent. The tech-heavy ChiNext Price Index gained 0.77 percent. The Hang Seng Index was also marginally higher, closing 0.15 percent up.
South Korea’s Kospi Index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed higher by 0.44 percent. The Straits Times Index in Singapore was up by 0.37 percent and the biggest regional gainer, in percentage terms, was India’s S&P BSE Sensex that closed higher by 1.05 percent.
European stock markets were faring well in late morning trade, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index trading higher by about 0.5 percent. The FTSE 100 Index in London was trading about 0.6 percent up, Germany’s DAX Index was about 0.1 percent higher while the CAC 40 Index in France was up by over 0.6 percent.
In the U.S., all index futures were trading in positive territory at 6:42 a.m. EDT — Dow Jones futures was trading 0.12 percent higher, the S&P 500 futures was up by 0.16 percent and the Nasdaq futures was 0.19 percent up.
Apart from indicators from the futures, investors will also be watching for minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting, which will be released Wednesday, 2 p.m. EDT.
The global benchmark for crude oil, Brent futures, had gained about 2.2 percent on Wednesday morning, while the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, had gained almost 3 percent. Kuwait has indicated that oil producers may agree on an output freeze even if Iran is not party to the deal.