FTSE posts more losses as Nymex Crude Oil crosses $100 mark

<p>FTSE posts more losses as Nymex Crude Oil crosses $100 mark The FTSE 100 Index posted yet more losses on Thursday as traders continue to […]</p>

FTSE posts more losses as Nymex Crude Oil crosses $100 mark
The FTSE 100 Index posted yet more losses on Thursday as traders continue to exit heavyweight equity positions on spiralling Crude Oil prices, with Nymex Crude Oil trading above $100 for the first time since October 2008.

There has been a marked increase in Volatility since the start of the Libya crisis. The FTSE 100 Volatility Index has now risen 51% to its highest level since December 1 last year, all over the last five trading sessions and this appears to reinforce the pessimism in the market place that has been growing with each tick increase in the price of crude oil.

It is hard to see the moves in crude oil of late, where both Nymex and Brent Crude have rallied over 20% since the start of the Libya crisis as being driven by fundamentals, particularly considering OPEC’s stance to prop up any supply shortages and the fact that Libya is not even in the top 10 oil producers in the world. One can quickly cast an eye back to the summer of 2008 when crude oil prices quickly spiralled to $147 before crashing back down to Earth, mostly driven by market speculators. The recent moves appear to have similar hallmarks.

Technical indicators are pointing to resistance for Nymex Crude Oil at the $107 level and so should this put a roof on current gains, it may brighten prospects for equities somewhat. A breakthrough of $107 for Nymex Crude could mark the beginnings of similar price growth that was seen in the summer of 2008.

RBS shares fall as results fail to inspire heightened investor optimism
Shares in RBS fell 3.5% today, making the bank one of the worst performing stocks on the FTSE 100 after its results failed to inspire investors. The bank saw a return to profit in the final quarter of the year but this was not enough to stop the company posting a £1.1 billion overall loss for 2010. The numbers themselves are not a dramatic distance away from market expectations and indeed some areas beat consensus. One of the disappointing factors has been the performance of the investment banking unit, whilst they also took a hit from their Ulster bank arm. Traders have sold out of RBS shares, not just on the back of these numbers but also in the context of wider risk aversion that we have seen in the markets due to the crisis in Libya.

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