WTI crude oil rallied some 150 points yesterday morning to highs around $89.40 on the back of relief over China not raising rates and positive demand forecasts. The technical picture is showing signs of crude topping out around this level and it may well be worth taking the short side of the market for this week on rallies back around $89.20 to $89.40. Crude fell for the first week in three last week to test the $87.30 area and that should be the first target again this week. Spread Co offers a spread on January US Crude of $88.55–$88.59.

British retail sales figures for November are due out on Thursday. There’s no real expectation of any surprise though and with the worst of the weather not hitting the country until December, any impact from the snow should be minimal. However, retailers seem generally confident that this Christmas will be no worse than last, so any early indications of weakness could see investors eager to sell. IG markets offers a spread on the UK retail sector index of 1,718-1,722.

Sports Direct releases interim results on Thursday and investors will hope that their numbers can confirm the good share price strength they’ve seen so far in 2010. The stock is up 50 per cent so far this year as the outlook for the retailer has been improving. With the combination of a successful Ashes series down under so far and the Christmas shopping season well under way, the outlook remains strong for the share price. Capital CFDs quotes a price of 144.0p-145.2p.

The US dollar got hammered hard on Monday with euro-dollar rallying some 200 pips to test the $1.3400 region and sterling-dollar breaking through last week’s highs at $1.5861. Normally euro-dollar would be an interesting sell around this level but with markets thinning out on the run up to Christmas, the euro could well keep rallying to $1.35 or even $1.36 so a short sell, although tempting, might turn out to be painful. Spread Co offers a 0.8pt spread on euro-dollar of $1.33801–$1.33809.