A continuing surge in energy prices means the sceptre of inflation is looming large over the markets again with the FTSE 100 down more than 1% in early trading.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “Oil prices are camped above $80 per barrel after producers’ cartel OPEC failed to increase output and natural gas continues to touch record highs. The concern will be that rising prices will prove much stickier than hoped.
“This is undermining the markets’ efforts to pick themselves off the canvas after a bruising autumn so far. The next big announcement on the radar is the US jobs report on Friday – a weak number could prompt concern that we are heading for the dreaded stagflation scenario.”