Decline in Oil price affects 2015 markets

Wall Street finished its final day of 2015 down, marking its worst annual performance in seven years.

Oil prices suffered a second year of steep losses and are expected to take at least another year to clear as the international surplus continues. The Dow Jones was down 178.84 points or 1.03 per cent, at 17,425.03.

The S&P 500 was down 0.95 per cent at 2043.86, while the tech-heavy Nasdaqcomposite was 1.15 per cent lower at 5007.41. The oil price collapse sent global markets reeling throughout 2015.

Shares of US oil giants Chevron and ExxonMobil were down 0.17 per cent and 0.22 per cent respectively. Energy stocks have taken a beating this year, with the S&P energy sector losing nearly 24 per cent in the last twelve months.

For the year the S&P 500 was down 0.7 per cent while the Dow Jones ended 2.2 per cent lower. The Nasdaq, however was a bright spot closing 5.7 per cent higher for 2015.

Trading volumes were thin on the last day of the year. Apple was down 1.92 per cent weighing on the Nasdaq this year.

McDonald’s was down 1.08 per cent at $118 and weighed on the Dow the most. Stocks were led lower as US jobless claims increased by 20,000 to 287,000 last week, wildly missing forecasts of 270,000.

Brent crude oil was up 3 per cent at $37.60 per barrel for the day but down 35 per cent over the year. US light crude was 1.2 per cent higher at $37.04 but down 30 per cent for the year.

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