Sharp fall in US equity markets

Oil prices again failed to sustain a move higher yesterday with Brent falling back to c.$30 per barrel (from an intra-day high of around $32)

Equity markets also again reversed course as oil prices fell back. European stocks ended well off the day’s best levels, while the main US indices sold off sharply to end between 2.5-3.5% lower

There was not much change in the major exchange rates despite everything else going on. The euro continues to trade just below $1.09 against the dollar

Industrial output in the Euro area fell in November and the annual rate of growth slowed further, perhaps reflecting the impact of weaker global demand

The Bank of England’s MPC meets today. Interest rates are expected to remain on hold, and the fall in oil prices and slower wage growth recently is likely to stay its hand for a while longer yet. Ahead of the meeting, sterling is trading at around 75p against the euro and $1.44 versus the dollar

Data due today includes jobless claims in the US