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European markets head south

In line with events of the last few days, European stock markets have headed south amid concerns about the global economic recovery and problems regarding British Petroleum. The US authorities have announced the launch of a criminal investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and there are real concerns about the possibility of BP assets being seized by the US government.

This has caused an obvious tremor throughout the oil sector amid concerns that exploration activity could well be curtailed in the short-term at least. When you also take into account the ongoing sovereign debt problem within Europe, and the ever-increasing cost of finance on European money markets, there are more than enough reasons to worry in the short term. Very little progress appears to have been made with regards to the European sovereign debt issue where internal bickering within the European Union is a major stumbling block.

At this point in time, aside from impressive construction data from the US, there would appear to be very much in the way of good news on the horizon and little reason for investors to chase the market higher. As a consequence, investor confidence has been hit and many are sitting on the sidelines waiting for developments in various areas of the world.

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