Shares jump for joy at a shock policy easing from the Bank of Japan, and oil holds on to hopes of a coordinated Russian-OPEC production cut - even as analysts turn sceptic over whether such cuts will ever happen. Sara Hemrajani reports.
Markets in Asia and Europe are ending the week - and the month - on an optimistic note. That's after Japan's central bank shocked with a monetary stimulus boost. The move spurred traders to snap up equities, bonds and commodities. Oil prices gained nearly one percent, getting an extra lift from speculation of a possible deal to curb the supply glut. Russian officials are now saying they're in contact with other oil producing nations -- While Venezuela has proposed a meeting in February. But analysts are sceptical of the outcome. Commerzbank economist Peter Dixon. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Financial Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "It's by no means clear that this is something which everyone is going to agree to. It certainly isn't clear that it's even going to happen because I think we've heard some rather conflicting signals over the course of the past 24 hours." The recent oil rout has also sparked concerns about Shell's $52 billion takeover of BG Group, which was approved by shareholders on Thursday. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Financial Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "Given what's happened to the cost of extraction, energy extraction, over the course of recent years, which has put major pressure - or will put major pressure - on the prices of the energy majors. I think that any deals with prices at current levels is going to enter into dangerous territory." Friday's rally is unlikely to overshadow what's been the worst start to a year for stocks since 2008. The sell-off wiped off $7 trillion from the markets worldwide. The global financial turmoil pushed investors to the safety of gold - the precious metal is up nearly 5 percent for January.