Wall Street loses ground again while oil surges

Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is still up over 100 points but in the US equities are struggling once again.

Hopes of a post-NFP rally to carry markets into the weekend on a cheerier note appear to be fading fast, as the S&P 500 sheds 2700 once again and the Dow threatens to stage a repeat of yesterday’s surge, but this time in reverse. US jobs growth missed forecasts, but the wage picture remains solid, but this is evidently small comfort for equity markets fretting about the effect of global trade wars. Volatility of the kind seen of late takes time to subside, and it looks like hopes of calm, bullish pre-festive period are misplaced, even if Trump doesn’t ramp up the pressure on China. OPEC’s decision to cut oil production, with cooperation from Iran in its overall push, has produced a spike in
 oil prices, suggesting that this sell-off at least has come to an end. Buying WTI down at $50 may have proved to be a very brave but prescient move. 

While there is plenty on the agenda next week, the UK’s Brexit vote in Parliament will be the only event in town. Reports of a shift towards a softer Brexit or a second referendum should be taken with a pinch of salt, but with the deal still unlikely to pass under any but the most inventive scenarios the weekend will likely see plenty of wargaming of alternative scenarios. 

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