The morning started well, with the FTSE 100 and other markets pushing off the lows of late last week, but even this small bounce is fading fast.
A key driver to broader negativity has been oil prices, and the dip for Brent into new multi-year lows has unsurprisingly done little for oil firms. It would not have been surprising to see a low-volume rally across the board in Europe today, as the absence of US volumes was employed to good effect by the usual collection of dip buyers and bargain hunters.
The fact that, thus far, even this is beyond the ability of investors suggests a broad risk-off mentality, with even those of an optimistic disposition looking to keep trimming allocations to stock markets.
Oil prices have been calling the tune for global markets for weeks now, and it looks like this state of affairs will continue.
European markets will have to do without any US trading or news this afternoon, thanks to Martin Luther King Day. As a result, the prospect of an afternoon rally looks remote at best, putting bullish sentiment under further strain.
Earnings season will get back into gear later in the week, but so will Chinese data, which promises to put this trouble spot back in the forefront of attention.