IT IS easy to forget that only about a year ago, crude oil was treading water around the $35 a barrel mark. Today, however, crude is back up to above $80 and has continued to edge its way higher. On Friday, it managed to climb as high as $82 for the first time since early January, doubtless helped by marginally better economic data. Further upside may continue towards the year-to-date highs of around $84. But with the threat of a double dip recession, slowing demand in China and at least a degree of stability in the Middle East, crude now looks exposed to a fall. The current IG Index price on Nymex crude oil is $81.84-81.88.

If you fancy trading an oil explorer rather than the commodity, you might take a look at Tullow Oil. In 2009, the stock doubled in price but has underperformed so far this year. The current sell-off could provide a good buying opportunity. Capital Spreads quotes a price of 1,282p-1,286p for the June contract.

Recruiter Michael Page has said that market conditions have stabilised and it is hiring staff again. Encouragingly, two-thirds of its earnings come from outside the UK, which makes it a good play on sterling weakness. Technically, its shares have been in a rising trend channel since August and the shares could appreciate to test a resistance level above 420p. Spreadex offers a spread of 382.60p-384.80p.