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THE TIPSTER

Kathleen Brooks
Oil continues to struggle around the $80 mark, after weak economic data in the UK. If western economies stall then demand for crude oil will fall, which will lead to lower prices. Another factor that could weigh on the oil price is weak employment figures in the US. As we approach the summer driving season, fewer jobs means less income, so fewer holidays and less car use. This will dampen demand for oil. Capital Spreads quotes $76.45-$76.50 for April Brent Crude.

Sterling fell to a nine-month low against the dollar on Friday afternoon, briefly touching $1.5190.
It dropped despite better-than-expected fourth quarter GDP figures. According to technical indicators, a fall through current support levels could result in a plunge to as low as $1.4500. Spreadex has a spot dollar-sterling spread of $1.5200-$1.5203

Shares in Colt Telecom fell by more than 10p on Friday after the market dismissed the company’s strong 2009 profits released earlier in the day. The market concentrated on the firm's pessimistic outlook for a possible economic recovery in 2010. But, the market may have over reacted and the company looks like it is well placed to continue the gains made over the past year. ShortsandLongs.com has a rolling spread of 128.6p-129.5p

Despite the renewed threat of industrial action at British Airways, the share price has been unfazed and the stock actually rose more than 2 per cent on Friday. But the outlook might start to get cloudy next week – traffic figures are due on Wednesday, and with travel websites reporting a downturn in BA enquiries, the prospects are far from good. Although a weaker sterling should benefit the airline, as foreign currency receipts end up worth more in sterling terms, the lacklustre UK economy and high fuel prices could prove too much for the carrier. The current IG Index price is 209.49p-210.01p