Oil prices surge on OPEC deal; global stocks are mixed

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Asia markets, oil struggle ahead of key OPEC meeting

New York (AFP) - Oil prices jumped nearly 10 percent Wednesday, boosting energy-linked equities after OPEC thrashed out its first output cut since 2008.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meeting in Vienna, agreed on specific targets to enact a preliminary deal struck in September designed to boost crude prices.

That helped send US oil prices up $4.21 to $49.44 a barrel.

That in turn translated into big upward movements in petroleum stocks globally, with BP rising 3.8 percent, French peer Total 2.4 percent and Chevron 2.0 percent.

But global stocks turned in a mixed performance overall, with the Dow flat and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slumping 1.1 percent on weakness in large technology names including Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet.

Equity markets in Paris, London and Frankfurt all etched up modest gains at closing.

Markets were fixated on Vienna where 14-member OPEC agreed to lower its monthly output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 32.5 million bpd from January 1.

And Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada said non-member Russia committed to reducing its output by 300,000 bpd, half of a hoped-for 600,000 bpd reduction from outside the organization.

"This was an extremely bullish production decision for oil prices," said Jason Schenker of Prestige Economics, who likened OPEC's role to that of a central bank.

"In using a play from the playbook of other central banks, OPEC, managed to support oil prices through the fall 'shoulder demand' period by providing hawkish (and oil-bullish) forward guidance," Schenker said.

Still, analysts expressed skepticism that OPEC would follow through on the ambitious cuts.

"What investors are going to look at now is how long the deal will hold, and whether any of the participants will cheat" on the agreed quotas, said Naeem Aslam, analyst at Think Markets.

Worries about oil have weighed on global equities, which have enjoyed a strong few weeks since US President-elect Donald Trump's shock election win, on hopes his policies will ramp up economic growth.

- Key figures around 2200 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP less than 0.1 percent at 19,123.58 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 2,198.81 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.1 percent at 5,323.68 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 6,783.79 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 10,640.30 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 4,578.34 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,051.61

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP less than 0.1 percent at 18,308.48 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 22,789.77 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.0 percent at 3,250.03 (close)

Oil - West Texas Intermediate for January delivery: UP $4.21 at $49.44 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea for January: UP $4.21 at $50.47 per barrel

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0590 from $1.0650 Tuesday

Dollar/yen: UP at 114.49 yen from 112.36 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2507 from $1.2490