Oil stocks drag FTSE down

Oil sector stocks have driven the FTSE 100 lower, and in the first couple of hours we are down by 38 points.

Crude oil processor
Source: Bloomberg

The effects of yesterday’s OPEC decision to maintain its oil output is still working its way through the markets today. Eurozone inflation figures are first up today and these latest deflationary developments are unlikely to have worked their way into the figures just yet. Today has seen both France and Italy post record levels of unemployment in the same week that Germany has posted record low levels. A clear signal that the eurozone dream still needs tweaking.

The template for equity markets today has been clear from the beginning. Oil and energy manufacturers are down, while those companies that are oil consumers are up. Airlines are flying with the biggest cost now dropping into the $60 a barrel region — a 40% fall in the last five months.

Any doubts that the UK, and more specifically UK retailers, would wholeheartedly join in the US obsession with Black Friday has been quashed. The feeding frenzy that appears to be happening in shopping malls up and down the country should ensure festive sales for the retail sectors get off to a flying start. 

America will be doing its best to burn off the excess calories from yesterday’s Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, by embarking on the biggest day of shopping in the calendar. Although not a bank holiday today, US markets will be running reduced trading hours and equity volumes historically struggle to raise too much of an interest.  

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 43 points lower at 17,784.  

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