Oil selloff stalls FTSE

Heavyweight oil stocks have fallen again this afternoon, putting the FTSE 10 points lower as the session heads to a close. 

Gherkin building, London
Source: Bloomberg

Today marked somewhat of a comedown for traders, as the hysteria surrounding both the European Central Bank (ECB) and payrolls releases has now subsided, leaving us to pick up the pieces after the party. Undoubtedly, it is the ECB’s relative inaction which took markets by surprise, and as selling intensifies to wipe out early gains today, we could easily see hopes of a December ‘Santa rally’ dissipate as the Fed tightens and crude prices tumble.

The ability of the FTSE 100 to perform is clearly being hindered by tumbling oil prices, and with Brent hitting a new six-year low, the likeliness is that this will hold back this market for some time yet. As Shell, BG and BP lead the FTSE losers, the fate of the FTSE is in the hands of the dollar as another Fed fuelled dollar rally could send crude tumbling once more. With OPEC seeming less and less like a cartel and more like an audience with the Saudis, it is likely crude prices could fall further yet.

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