THE Scottish oil producer, Cairn Energy, has seen its share price knocked thanks to a fruitless drilling operation off Greenland back in October, but last week's award of a new exploration license is injecting a degree of life back into the stock. That, in addition to the painfully slow ongoing attempt to dispose of part of its Indian operation to Vedanta, means that there could still be some relatively big price swings due. The underlying demand for energy is likely to ensure that the longer term trend is upward, however, so consider buying in. IG Index offers a spread on Cairn Energy of 394.8p-395.8p.

The traditional Christmas rally looks to be truly underway. The FTSE 100 has recouped over half its November losses and we could see this December repeat what is historically a very bullish month for equity markets. Capital Spreads quotes a price of 5,770-5,771 for the FTSE 100 index.

Crude oil continues to remain well supported on the back of rising equity markets and improved risk appetite. $90 remains a key resistance level, however, as it is a 50 per cent retracement of the declines from the all time highs at $147 to the 2009 lows at $32. A break above $90 could well signal further gains towards $100. CMC Markets offers a spread on US crude of $87.882-$87.922.

The drinks manufacturer Britvic reported full year results for 2010 marginally below expectations. The sharp market reaction reflected a lower than expected dividend increase, however, rather than weak fundamentals, and the stock may now be underpriced. Capital Spreads quote a price on Britvic of 447.3p-448.9p.