Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has been met with anger in China, fuelling concerns about already-strained ties with the United States

London (AFP) - Global stocks mostly rose on Wednesday as investor concerns over US-China tensions eased following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Oil prices, meanwhile, dropped after the OPEC+ oil cartel, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed a small increase in production and official data showed US crude stockpiles surprisingly rose last week.

The OPEC+ decision to raise production by 100,000 barrels per day for September is likely to disappoint US President Joe Biden, who travelled to Saudi Arabia last month to lobby for help to tame soaring energy prices, analysts said.

Analyst Edward Gardner, of Capital Economics, warned however that “as has become increasingly glaring recently, though, an increase in quotas is not the same as an increase in production”.

Output is supposed to have returned to pre-Covid levels, but only on paper, as some members of the 23-nation group have struggled to meet their quotas.

The main contracts were down more than two percent, with Brent – the international benchmark – falling back under $100.

- ‘Rollercoaster ride’-

Traders also nervously watched for reactions to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which China considers a part of its territory.

“What China didn’t do has seemingly been the focal point,” said Patrick O’Hare, at Briefing.com.

“China didn’t take any action that would necessitate a military response from the US. That understanding has sparked a measure of relief for investors as Speaker Pelosi heads to South Korea,” he said.

The highest profile trip to Taiwan in 25 years by a US politician was met with condemnation from Beijing, which vowed “punishment”.

“This week was already shaping up to be another rollercoaster ride and Pelosi’s trip just added another layer of event risk for the markets,” Craig Erlam, an analyst at OANDA, said.

News of the visit had sent shivers on Tuesday through trading floors that were already on edge over the Ukraine war, surging inflation, rising interest rates and slowing economic growth.

However, most equity markets edged upwards on Wednesday.

“There has been a lot of fear but no material effect,” AvaTrade analyst Naeem Aslam told AFP, when asked about the markets impact of Pelosi’s visit.

European markets closed higher, with Paris and Frankfurt both up around one percent and London’s FTSE 100 rising by 0.5 percent.

Wall Street indices were also up in midday trading following positive economic data and another round of corporate earnings that included good results from Starbucks and CVS Health.

The ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers index showed growth in services activity accelerated in July for the first time in four months.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on moves by central banks to rein in inflation.

The Bank of England is expected to follow other major central banks with an aggressive interest rate hike to tackle surging inflation on Thursday.

The half-percentage-point increased would be the biggest in more than a quarter century.

- Key figures at around 1545 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 1.0 percent at 32,707.35 points

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.3 percent at 3,732.54

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,445.68 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.0 percent at 13,587.56 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.0 percent at 6,472.06 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 27,741.90 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.4 percent at 19,767.09 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.7 percent at 3,163.67 (close)

Taipei - TAIEX: DOWN 0.2 percent at 14,777.02 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 134.24 yen from 133.10 yen Tuesday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0138 from $1.0166

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2126 from $1.2170

Euro/pound: UP at 83.62 pence from 83.57 pence

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.3 percent at $98.21 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.4 percent at $92.16 per barrel

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