Oil stocks weigh on FTSE

Oil sector stocks have driven the FTSE 100 lower, and in the first couple of hours we are down by 73 points.

Oil barrels
Source: Bloomberg

Entering the first week of the last month of the year, there is little indication that markets are winding down. Having finished off last week with Black Friday we kick off this week with Cyber Monday, which combined should ensure a healthy spike in retail sales. Having had the weekend to get accustomed to oil prices trading in the $60’s and the Swiss referendum rejection of gold, traders have already witnessed plenty of catalysts for this week.

Looking ahead we still have interest rate decisions for the UK and eurozone, the UK’s autumn budget, and the ever turbulent Friday non-farm payroll figures.  

Aberdeen Asset Management has shown impressive form through a tough year, posting a 2% rise in pre-tax profits even with tough emerging market conditions and the uncertainty over Scotland. Interestingly though, it eyes next year’s general election as a bigger issue than this year’s Scottish referendum was.

BG Group has buckled under the public pressure and has chopped incoming CEO Helge Lund’s shares, first awarded as £10 million now down to £4.7 million. CEO pay has become an increasingly emotive issue with FTSE firms, but getting the best person running a business can sometimes prove prudent especially if the company has as many issues as BG Group does. 

After a long weekend of shopping and turkey, America will do its best to get back up to speed today. Considering the negative mind-set that has hung over both Asian and European markets in its absence, it will be doing well to regain the bullish momentum it had before the festivities. 

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 64 points lower at 17,764.  

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