Shanghai officials approved plans for an oil and natural gas trading center in January, according to China Daily. The purpose of the financial trading center is to improve the city's position within the global commodities market. Commodities such as oil, natural gas, liquid petroleum and unconventional products will be traded at the location once it is finished.
Ten Chinese companies will fund the trading center, which will be regulated by the National Development and Reform Commission, the National Energy Agency and other commodity authorities.
Interest in international markets
China began its push into international trading earlier in 2014, according Reuters. In December, the China Securities Regulatory Commission approved the launch of crude oil futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. China is the second largest crude oil purchaser following the U.S., and the nation hopes trading crude oil futures will strengthen its currency, as they will be priced in the yuan.
An international energy trading center
In March 2014, the Shanghai International Energy Trading Center, which began in November 2013, formed an agreement with the Bank of China to develop a platform for futures trading, according to a statement from the Shanghai Futures Exchange. The entities were preparing for the addition of foreign investors in China's markets once crude oil futures were available for trade.
Additional trading hours
China also opened up night trading to increase the amount of global trading for commodities futures, according to the South China Morning Post. The 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. hours allow the nation to be involved in a variety of time zones, and the Shanghai Futures Exchange will open up crude oil trading during this time period.