Overnight Developments

As a horse racing fan, today is a bit like one of those days in the middle of winter when you are looking forward to some quality action. Racing from Haydock, Newbury and Cheltenham has been cancelled due to frost but you can still have a bet on the 3.10 at Fakenham if you like.

Well eCBOT might be shut today but crude oil is still trading. Floor trading at NYMEX is closed but electronic trading is still going on at Fakenham, or somewhere. And it's currently $1.73 lower at $52.71/barrel. And why wouldn't it be? US inventories yesterday were up a stunning 7.28 million barrels, against expectations of a rise of 1 million.

Gasoline supplies were up 1.84 million barrels against expectations of half a million.

OPEC meet in Cairo Friday, but most analysts expect them not to announce a production cut until December's meeting in Algeria.

The pound is higher as the FTSE100 opens in positive territory 53.82 points higher at 4206.51. Also adding a bit of support was news that British house prices declined this month by less than economists had predicted, a Nationwide Building Society report showed.

At 9:00 GMT the pound was $1.5420.

LIFFE/Euronext markets will be open as normal today/tomorrow. There is no CBOT tonight and there will only be a shortened session tomorrow.