Nervous investors ignored a firm lead from US markets yesterday selling equities. However, they have taken plenty of notice of last night’s weaker lead

While last night’s US market action was a nervous wobble that still leaves major indices comfortably above support levels, it has been enough to see already nervous local markets continue where they left off yesterday. Sellers are in the ascendancy at the market open.

A weak open this morning has seen the ASX 200 index resume its a downtrend, making lower highs and lows after a brief pause.

Weak commodity and oil prices are not helping the Australian market today with mining and oil stocks under pressure.

Investors in gas producing companies this morning find themselves in the same position as bank shareholders recently, with yesterday’ decision to introduce a mechanism to limit exports increasing political risk to investors in this sector. This comes at a time when share prices are already under pressure due to falling oil prices. Higher political risks will add to the already very large price and engineering risks assumed by investors providing capital to supply these resources and could add to required rates of return for any future projects.