US, Asia stocks await G20 trade talks, oil edges higher

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday on profit-taking ahead of the US-China trade talks at the G20 summit, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index down 0.20% or 42.00 points, at 21,296.17 in early trade.

Markets in Asia tracked Wall Street’s overnight movement with a muted opening on Friday as investors await a meeting between the United States (US) and China at the key Group of 20 summit (G20) at Osaka, Japan, which opened on Friday and will end on Saturday.

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday on profit-taking ahead of the US-China trade talks at the G20 summit, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index down 0.20% or 42.00 points, at 21,296.17 in early trade. The broader Topix index was down 0.12% or 1.81 points, at 1,551.46.

Meanwhile, Singapore stocks opened slightly higher on Friday, with the Straits Times Index gaining 3.25 points or 0.1% to 3,331.85, following Wall Street’s movement.

Most of US’ stocks closed higher on Thursday, with the benchmark S&P 500 adding 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rising by 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.04%, as aircraft manufacturer Boeing weighed on the index, after news revealed that the firm’s 737 Max will remain out of service longer-than-expected.

Oil prices edge up ahead of G20, Opec meeting

Brent crude futures rose 6 US cents to settle at US$66.55 per barrel on Thursday, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 5 US cents to US$59.43 per barrel.

Investors are expecting for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to extend an output cut agreement. Iraq’s oil minister Thamer Ghadhban said that the Opec is expected to discuss the deepening of the output curbs that have been in place since January 1 and roll over a deal on cutting supplies at a meeting next week.

The Opec meeting will commence after the G20 summit this weekend.

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