Oil Falls as Spreading Coronavirus Convulses Markets Worldwide
Bloomberg – Oil tumbled for a third session as panic over the spreading coronavirus gripped investors and sent shockwaves through commodity, equity and debt markets.
Futures slumped as much as 2.1% in New York on Tuesday. As the contagion that emerged in China spread through other parts of Asia as well as the Middle East and Europe, the outlook for economic growth that underpins fuel demand darkened. Stock markets plunged as investors fled to safe havens such as gold and American government bonds.
“The market has woken up to the fact the virus could have a global economic impact,” said Frances Hudson, global thematic strategist at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “Projections of demand are all on the gloomy side of negative and this a demand-led market.”
The slump in demand and prices comes as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers prepare to meet in Vienna early next month. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the group hasn’t made a decision yet on whether to extend or modify production cuts.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery fell 60 cents to $50.83 a barrel at 10:39 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Tuesday’s decline brought the three-session slump to more than 6%.
Brent for April settlement fell 63 cents to $55.67 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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