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Asian stocks mixed as markets await OPEC meeting results

Associated Press Associated Press 30/11/2016
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, an American flag flies in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stocks started slightly lower early Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, as the price of oil tumbled almost 4 percent. That took energy companies sharply lower. Health care companies climbed after a strong outlook from UnitedHealth Group. Tiffany jumped after it reported better quarterly results than analysts expected. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, an American flag flies in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stocks started slightly lower early Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, as the price of oil tumbled almost 4 percent. That took energy companies sharply lower. Health care companies climbed after a strong outlook from UnitedHealth Group. Tiffany jumped after it reported better quarterly results than analysts expected. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

TOKYO — Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday, as investors awaited the results of a key meeting of oil producing nations.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was flat at 18,307.79 in morning trading, but Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.5 percent to 5,451.40. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1 percent at 1,979.81. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.1 percent to 22,766.58, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 1 percent to 3,261.60. Shares were higher in Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.

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 31 cents to $45.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 40 cents to $47.72 a barrel in London.

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 fell back after the government reported that industrial production rose 0.1 percent from the month before in October, down from 0.6 percent in September and 1.3 percent in August. Economists said the data showed growth was sustained, but below par.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.70 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,121.60. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.94 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,204.66 and the Nasdaq composite rose 11.11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,379.92.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.57 yen from 112.20 yen. The euro rose to $1.0635 from $1.0592.

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