European markets are set to open mixed at the start the week as political uncertainty in Italy looms and oil prices push lower.
The FTSE is set to open 6 points lower at 6,835, the DAX should open 8 points lower at 10,681 and the CAC is set to start 1 point higher at 4,551.
Investors are increasingly worried over the upcoming referendum in Italy that could potentially lead to the fall of the Italian government and raise possible concerns over the recapitalization of the banking system.
Meanwhile, oil prices fell on Monday morning as uncertainty on an OPEC deal intensifies. OPEC members are holding bilateral meetings as they try to reach an agreement at a general meeting on Wednesday.
But, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Sunday it would not take part in any OPEC production cuts for the “foreseeable future”, according to Reuters, and the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih also said that he believed the oil market would balance itself next year even if producers did not intervene.
Elsewhere, Aberdeen Asset Management is due to present its annual results.
On the data front, France will see its final GDP (gross domestic product) reading for the third quarter and President Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank is due to speak at the European Parliament.
The Japanese benchmark closed lower on Monday after seven straight sessions of gains as the yen rose sharply against the dollar and oil prices slipped.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 0.13 percent, or 24.33 points, at 18,356.89, clawing back earlier losses of more than 0.8 percent. The weakness in the Japanese benchmark is likely due to yen strength, which is seen as a negative for Japanese export-oriented stocks.
The dollar fell more than 1 percent against the dollar earlier, but was trading at 112.13 around 2:10 pm HK/SIN. The dollar/yen hovered at levels above 113 last week.
Australia’s ASX 200 finished 0.79 percent lower, or 43.385 points, at 5,464.4, weighed by weaknesses in its energy sub-index, which fell 1.93 percent, and its materials sub-index, which was down 1.29 percent.
Tabcorp jumped 1.94 percent at $4.72 per share, after The Mail on Sunday reported that British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral planned to make a 2 billion pound ($2.5 billion) bid for the Australian betting company.
In South Korea, the Kospi recovered from earlier losses to trade up 0.35 percent. Hundreds of thousands people rallied in Seoul at the weekend for the fifth straight week of protests against President Park Geun-hye, who is embroiled in a scandal over influence-peddling.
Samsung Electronics shares were trading up 1.52 percent at 1,675,000 won each, after Seoul Economic Daily reported that the electronics giant was considering a split into two companies, as proposed by U.S. activist hedge fund Elliot Management. Samsung Electronic’s split would boost shareholder value.
In China, the Shanghai composite was up 0.6 percent and the Shenzhen composite inched up 0.115 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.86 percent.
Oil prices regained some ground after steep losses made since Friday in choppy trading ahead of a planned producer meeting on Wednesday aimed at reining in global oversupply.
Brent crude futures were trading at $47.20 per barrel at 0346 GMT, down 4 cents from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 3 cents at $46.03 a barrel.
The recovery came after prices fell more than 3 percent on Friday, and further still early on Monday.
While still down from their last settlement, it was a recovery from early Monday lows of $46.28 and $45.14 per barrel for Brent and WTI, respectively.
Prices had tumbled over disagreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC exporters like Russia over who should cut production by how much in order to curb a global supply overhang that has more than halved prices since 2014.
Despite the wrangling, traders said they still expected some form of an output restriction to be agreed this week.
“I hold a very strong view, that the fiscal imperative of the budget and income/expenditure situation of the Saudis together with many other OPEC and non-OPEC nations means a deal will get done,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at Australian brokerage AxiTrader.
OPEC will meet in Vienna on Wednesday to decide on the details of a cut, potentially including non-OPEC members like Russia. A meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers that was to be held on Monday was called off after Saudi Arabia declined to attend.
Referring to Saudi Arabia’s move, Morgan Stanley said “cancelling a meeting with non-OPEC producers highlights the disagreements that remain within OPEC”.
But the bank said it still expected “at least a paper deal agreement”.