Oil prices spike 2% higher on Saudi-Iran spat

Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that it has broken off diplomatic ties with Iran. This comes amid a row over the execution by Saudi Arabia of a prominent Shia Muslim cleric.

To be clear, tension between the two nations is nothing new, they have been in a de-facto Islamic Cold War since 1979. However, the pseudo war between Islam’s largest sects – the Shia’s and Sunni’s – in the Middle East, centred on Syria has heightened tension between the two nations. Iran’s return to the international community following successful talks to end its nuclear program have only served to stir the pot even further.

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Nickel prices: Not so mean reversion

Nickel was the worst performing commodity in 2015, down 43% to around $8,600 per tonne. Worries over weak Chinese demand for stainless steel (manufactured from nickel) coupled with robust supply growth has been behind the falls. Nickel is also the top pick for gains in commodities by many investment banks setting out their stall for 2016. Many believe that the scale of the price falls have wrought such devastation on the margins of producers that supplies will be cut faster than the market expects.

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