By Janine Perrett 

So yet more mixed market signals today.

The oil deal that isn't actually a deal is still being thrashed out.

OPEC’s dominant member Saudi Arabia, and a number of smaller players, have made an agreement with Russia, which is not a member, to freeze production at January levels.

Of course a freeze is not a cut, which is needed to increase oil prices, but a freeze might at least stabilise them rather than the current freefall.

Only problem is that two key OPEC members, Iran and Iraq have not agreed yet so a mission is currently winging its way to Tehran to try and get them on board.

Good luck with that.

Having been frozen out of the world oil market for years thanks to sanctions, Iran is only just ramping up its output.

Not to mention the current state of tension, downright hostility between Saudi and Iran.

And Iraq has myriad problems of its own of course.

Given that everyone suffers from low prices, given that all members and Russia will benefit from a freeze if not a cut in output, given that all members are enduring some form of financial crisis if not downright economic collapse, you would think they could get an agreement.

But having covered numerous OPEC meetings in the 1980's I can assure you that it is a mystery to me how they ever managed to form a coherent cartel at all given the intense rivalries.

So my betting is it, don't bet on it. 

It is about as confusing as the iron ore market where producers from eminently more stable countries who should know better are also ramping up production to keep profits up at the same time they are sending prices down and making the situation worse.

Iron ore prices, like oil, are swinging wildly without any apparent motive while wishful analysts keep claiming the low prices cannot continue.

Want to bet?

No wonder the morning headline reads "Fed sees uncertainty increasing".

You wouldn't think it could get any more confused.