Markets in the US are being pulled down by lacklustre performance within the energy sector at the start of the new week (29 March 2016).
By the late afternoon (4 pm BST) in European market sessions and following the opening of trading in the US, US light crude values had diminished by $1.28 to $38.11 per barrel. By the same time, Brent crude prices were also down by $1.22 per barrel to stand at $39.05.
As a result of the negative sentiment that this weakness in the energy sector has created, markets across the US have been performing poorly today.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had dipped by 0.19% from its position at the opening of trading sessions, while the S&P 500 was down by 0.1%. It was not all bad news for investors though, as the Nasdaq Composite Index had risen by 0.21% by this time.
Responding to this largely downward drive, New York-based market analyst Adam Sarhan told Reuters: "We are seeing a little bit of a pause here.
"I don't expect major volatility this week. I expect this quiet packing and filling to continue."
It therefore seems likely that the end of March will be typified by a slow erosion of gains so far this month, but major losses will hopefully be avoided as we head into the new financial year in April.