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    US markets fall as oil rally ends

    Major US markets have fallen today as the latest rally in oil values has melted away.

     

    Markets in the US have today (23 February 2016) fallen as the rally in oil values that had lifted major indices at the start of the week has ebbed away once more.

     

    By the late afternoon in European trading (3.46 pm GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average had diminished by 0.69%, while the S&P 500 had lost 0.78% and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down by 0.94%.

     

    At the same time, US light crude values had fallen by $1.19 to $32.20 per barrel and Brent crude values had fallen by $0.89 per barrel to $33.80.

     

    This latest rapid reduction in the price of oil is symptomatic of the peaks and troughs that have typified oil sector performance in recent months, with the yo-yo nature of prices around lows last witnessed at the start of the new millennium causing considerable unrest in markets around the world.

     

    Reacting to this latest false dawn for the precious commodity, US economist Scott Brown told Reuters: "[The market is] still groping for direction. You still see this hypersensitivity to what's going on with the price of oil and the market's reacting on a day-to-day basis to that.

     

    "It really shouldn't, but it gives you a sense of the nervousness out there."

     

    Elsewhere, markets in Asia also continued to show signs of weakness, with losses across the board for the Shanghai Composite Index (down 0.79%), Nikkei Stock Average 225 (down 0.37%) and ASX All Ordinaries Index (down 0.34%) in their latest full session.


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