Oil hits new 5½ year low as supply glut replaces Libya concern
Unrest in Libya will do little to affect the price of oil despite the country’s supplies being under threat. Higher supply from Russia and Iraq together with weaker demand means a glut that has seen prices drop this morning to their lowest since May 2009. There has been slight recovery after early trading in London. Asian markets closed mostly lower although Shanghai gained in its first day of trading this year; investors are confident that there will be more stimulus for China’s flagging economy. European indexes are all trending lower this morning with concern over Greek elections and oil prices among the concerns. The Euro is at its lowest levels since 2006. US stock futures are mixed; oil is trending lower; gold is slightly up.
Motor Vehicle Sales figures released today
John Williams of the San Francisco Fed speaks at 8.00am ET
Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8.30am ET
Alco Stores and Peak Resorts are among those reporting earnings today
What’s happening in consumer electronics?
The annual pilgrimage for those in the tech space is taking place this week in Las Vegas as the Consumer Electronics Show gives us a glimpse into the very-near future. Among the main trends will be wearables, 3D printing and the ‘internet of things’. It will be a show that demonstrates how things can become more connected rather than anything amazingly new.
OPEC hedges its bets on US production cuts
OPEC members are hoping that US shale oil producers will be forced to cut production once insurance ‘hedges’ run out. Many of the policies that protect producers from impacts of falling oil prices are due to expire in the coming months and although some firms are renegotiating their cover, others may be exposed. OPEC is hoping that may force a cut in output from US shale fields and lift oil prices.
Zuckerberg encourages followers to face books
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is using his status to encourage followers to read more books. The entrepreneur is well known for setting himself New Year’s resolutions and this year he’s vowed to read a book every two weeks and wants others to join him. His first selection "The End of Power" by Moisés Naím has already sold out on Amazon. Zuckerberg’s ‘Year of Books’ Facebook page gained 62,000 likes in its first day.
More pain for Sony as Xbox and Wii fight back against PlayStation
The holiday shopping season has seen a comeback for Microsoft and Nintendo in the highly competitive games console market. Sony’s PlayStation 4 was leading the pack a year ago and grew its market share through 2014 but new figures for November show that Microsoft’s Xbox One, cut to $50 below the Sony console, and Nintendo’s Wii U have both seen a resurgence in sales. December sales data is not yet available and may see a change again, however some analysts say that Sony may have been hurt by the hacking scandal weakening consumers’ confidence in the PlayStation’s online connectivity.
More market talk: