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Global stocks gain ahead of OPEC meeting

TOKYO – Global stocks were modestly higher Wednesday, as investors awaited the results of a key meeting of oil producing nations.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2 per cent to 4,561.55. Germany’s DAX edged up 0.2 per cent to 10,646.32. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 per cent at 6,780.37. U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow and S&P 500 futures up about 0.1 per cent.

OIL WATCH: Oil rebounded despite mounting skepticism that oil producers will reach agreement on curbing output, which could put a floor on prices. Benchmark U.S. crude added 73 cents to $45.96 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.66 to $48.98 a barrel in London in volatile trading.

THE QUOTE: “All eyes will be on Vienna today with Iran and Iraq both digging their respective heels in on production caps. Failure to come up with a viable solution will see oil much lower tomorrow,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

JAPAN ECONOMY: Japan’s benchmark was flat after the government reported that industrial production rose 0.1 per cent from the month before in October, down from 0.6 per cent in September and 1.3 per cent in August. Economists said the data showed growth was sustained, but below par.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was flat, finishing at 18,308.48, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.3 per cent to 5,440.50. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3 per cent at 1,983.48 and India’s Sensex gained 0.5 per cent to 26,536.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent to 22,789.77, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 1 per cent to 3,250.03 on talk regulators might crack down on overseas investments. Shares were higher in Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.79 yen from 112.20 yen. The euro rose to $1.0640 from $1.0592.