While the FTSE 100 index was only marginally lower over the summer months and the third quarter of the year and the S&P 500 index in the US actually registered a very small positive return, it was a different story for the oil price. Brent crude tumbled 16 per cent in the third quarter and West Texas Intermediate fell 13 per cent as oversupply cushioned crude markets from the fear of supply disruptions emanating from the troubled area of the Middle East. The weakness has also continued in the final quarter of the year with Brent hitting its lowest level since June 2012 in October.
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