Markets respond to possible cooperation between OPEC and Russia

Japan's central bank has also surprised investors...

markets, oil, opec, business

Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

Global markets are closing on an upward trend as we move out of January after the weakest opening trading weeks in stock market history, during which some $7tn was written off the value of shares.

Two developments have led to renewed optimism - at least temporarily.

Overnight, the Bank of Japan surprised the markets by cutting interbank interest rates to minus 0.1%.

This was the first time it introduced negative rates – this has been read as a reassurance that it is prepared to take all necessary measures to boost inflation and economic growth.

Asian shares generally rose to their highest levels for two weeks and closed on average more than 2% higher

Meanwhile, western stock markets were boosted yesterday by a strong surge in oil prices after the Russian Foreign Minister suggested that his country and OPEC may already be in talks with the cartel.

The price of Brent Crude rose by 2.5%, its fourth successive daily increase, to close at more than $34 per barrel.