Global stock markets were mixed Tuesday as uneasy investors looked ahead to an OPEC meeting and Italy’s constitutional referendum.
London’s FTSE 100 index shed 0.4 percent to 6,770.16 in early trading while France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.8 percent to 4,546.45 and Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent to 10,605.82. On Monday, the DAX lost 0.7 percent, the CAC 40 shed 0.5 percent and the FTSE ended 0.4 percent lower. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index both rose 0.2 percent. On Monday, the Dow lost 0.3 percent, the S&P fell 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq composite retreated 0.6 percent.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets Wednesday to discuss output cuts to boost prices. Member governments have issued mixed signals about whether they will agree. Iraq’s oil minister expressed support for an agreement, but prices fell after his Iranian counterpart warned “politics may make an OPEC decision harder.”
Benchmark U.S. crude fell another 66 cents to $46.42 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract gained $1.02 to close at $47.08 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, tumbled 78 cents to $48.43 in London. It lost $1.06 the previous session to $49.29.
Italians vote on constitutional changes Dec. 4 that would limit the power of the upper house and make it easier for governments to pass legislation. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will resign in case of a “no” result. New elections, if they are held, could bring to power the Five Star Movement, which has said it wants to hold a referendum on Euro membership.
Investors are focused on the OPEC meeting, said Mizuho Bank. “Oil prices are likely to remain choppy, fluctuating in tandem with news flow,” it said in a report. Worries over Italy’s referendum loom. “Apart from political instability, a negative referendum outcome could hurt Italian banks and renew financial stress in the European Union,” DBS Bank said in a report.
U.S. stocks declined as November’s rally following the surprise election of Donald Trump as president fizzled. Investors were waiting for third-quarter economic data Tuesday that would set the tone for equities and currency.
The euro rose to $1.0600 from $1.0587 on Monday. The dollar strengthened to 112.56 yen from 111.89 yen.