Oil is causing a headache for investors, with the price now down around 60 percent since 2014's peak around $95 a barrel, and similar to the price fall seen during the 2008 global financial crisis. Brent crude was trading at around $48.90 on Wednesday, while U.S. crude oil prices were down more than 2 percent at around $44.40 a barrel.
One well-known result of oil price falls is the effect on the consumer. This time round, the economic result is a $2.2 trillion annualized wealth transfer from exporter countries to consumers, according to HSBC.
So can the cost of one of the world's most important commodities continue to fall?
HSBC strategists think not – they expect a move higher to $55 a barrel for Brent crude in 2015, followed by a rise to $60 a barrel in 2016, according to a research note published on Tuesday.