Familiar pattern emerges amid late rally

The 2016 meltdown has moved into its third day, with both European and US markets selling off heavily once more, spurred on by yet another leg lower in crude prices.

Oil barrels
Source: Bloomberg

A hat-trick of underperforming services PMIs saw the Chinese, UK and US readings all fall short of market expectations today. With the UK and US heavily reliant on the services sector, the continued slide in services PMIs will no doubt be worrying, with certain negative implications for future growth in both countries.

As we head towards the European close there is a distinct pattern taking shape, with selling dominating the morning session, followed by a rally within the crossover period between the US and European markets.

Perhaps this is US optimism at work, yet there certainly appears to be substantially more negativity within Europe than in the US, despite the fact that the Federal Reserve is the only central bank to be raising rates.

US crude inventories tumbled by 5.1 million barrels last week, providing the most fleeting of rallies in oil. With two of the major OPEC members in Saudi Arabia and Iran butting heads on both a political and religious basis, the idea that we could see any form of compromise to cut production seems foolhardy at best.

Iran will relish the chance to pump as much oil as possible to make up for years of sanctions, and with Saudi Arabia unwilling to lose market share, global production only seems to be heading in one direction.

This certainly is not good news for oil and gas investors who will surely be wondering when the rout will end.

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