More Snakes Than Ladders

The FTSE 100 opened today at 5876 before immediately dropping below 5770.  The index has steadily fluctuated through the day where it eventually closed down at 5673 (-3.46%).  Other indices followed this fashion as the CAC 40, DAX, Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAX trade lower today.  The decline in the markets is predominantly due to the bleak view on Oil prices as investor’s feel unsettled in regards to the declining Oil & Gas industry and what the consequences will be in terms of global growth.  As prices see a temporary rise, it is soon followed by further declines as since the beginning of 2016 Oil prices have fallen much more often than they have risen.  Several Oil companies have taken large hits today as Shell, Nostrum, Petrofac, Tullow Oil and Amec’s share price fall by -6.72%, -7.89%, -6.88%, -7.66% and -9.33% respectively.  At the time of writing, Brent Oil stood at $27.41 a barrel (-4.68%).

In other news, UK jobless rates were out today and have seen them fall to their lowest rate in more than ten years as the rate of unemployment fell to 5.1% three months to November 2015.  The ONS (Office for National Statistics) announced that this is the lowest rate of unemployment that the economy has seen since January 2006.  However, it was also announced wage growth has slowed down as statistics showed that the average annual pay growth declined from 2.4% to 2.0%.  Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has already ruled out an increase in UK interest rates and one of the figures that would help to see a rise was improvements in wage growth.  However, given the latest figures, a sustained level of growth could appear unlikely in the short-term as there are very little inflationary pressures coming from the labour market.  Furthermore, It has been made clear that there needs to be more evidence to show that pay growth is picking up, thus helping to push inflation up to the target of 2%, before considering a lift in interest rates thus they is likely to stay where it is for the mean time.

At the close, European indices were down with the FTSE 100 -3.46%, the CAC 40 -3.45%, and the DAX -2.82%.  Asian indices were also down for the day with the Hang Seng -3.82% and the Nikkei 225 -3.71%.  At the time of writing, US indices were down with the NASDAQ -2.80%, the S&P 500 -3.10% and the Dow Jones -2.93%.