However, market sentiment remains negative, as oil prices have lost almost a third of their value since early October.
“Options traders remain focused on downside risks following a 30 percent slide in WTI,” Erik Norland, senior economist at commodities exchange CME Group wrote in a note, according to a Reuters report, referring to the higher number of traders who have placed positions that would profit from a further fall in crude prices than those placing bets on a rising market.
Asian shares were trading between negative and positive territory on Wednesday amid conflicting signals relating to trade tensions between the United States and China.
On Tuesday, markets dropped after U.S. President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal it was “highly unlikely” he would accept China’s request to hold off on a planned increase in tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent.
But markets rebounded after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed a dinner between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 gathering in Argentina.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended the day largely flat, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.7 percent.
“The market mood has turned cautious once again amid a flurry of trade headlines pointing to the prospect of a new round of trade tariffs ahead,” Rodrigo Catril, senior strategist at National Australia Bank, told Reuters.
Middle East markets
Dubai’s index fell 1.0 percent on Tuesday as real estate shares weighed on the market. Emaar Properties shed 3.2 percent, while Union Properties lost 3.4 percent.
Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.2 percent with Dana Gas falling 3.4 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy dropping 3.1 percent.
Saudi Arabia's index added 0.6 percent, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical rising 2.3 percent and Samba Financial Group gaining 1.6 percent.
Qatar’s index was mainly flat with telecommunications firm Ooredoo the top gainer, increasing 1.7 percent.
Kuwait’s index gained 0.8 percent, while Egypt’s blue-chip index added 1.3 percent, Bahrain’s index fell 0.5 percent and Oman’s index edged 0.1 percent lower.
The dollar gained on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Vice Chair, Richard Clarida, reaffirmed the need for further rate increases, and as investors saw the greenback as a safe haven following the drop in equities.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, traded at 97.42 after rising for three sessions in a row.
“Clarida comments certainly hinged toward hawkishness...we expect the Fed to remain consistent and adjust monetary policy according to incoming economic data which has so far been pretty robust,” Stephen Innes, head of trading, APAC, at Oanda, told Reuters.
“We are expecting the Fed to raise rates in December and 3 times in 2019.”
Gold prices steadied in early trading on Wednesday, after a senior Federal Reserve official reaffirmed the need for further rate increases.
Spot gold was steady at $1,214.71 per ounce at 0134 GMT. Prices fell to their lowest since Nov. 15 at $1,211.36 per ounce on Tuesday.
U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,214 per ounce.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Michael Fahy)
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