Global stock markets fall as oil prices crash
As of 11.30 GMT, Brent crude was trading at $35.57 per barrel as fears of a coronavirus-induced global recession increase.
Oil prices, which plummeted by as much as 30 per cent on Sunday night, have caused a global stock market turmoil on Monday. As at 10:57 GMT today, the FTSE 100 Index, a share index of the 100 companies with the highest market capitalisation listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), had fallen by 6 per cent to 6,074.83 points.
The index had initially declined by 8.7 per cent to 5,899 earlier on Monday, representing the fourth biggest one-day drop in history. According to Bloomberg, stock markets in Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore have all fallen today into bear market territory as fears of a coronavirus-induced global recession increase.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI), which appreciated by 0.24 per cent to close the week at 26,279.61 points on Friday, is also experiencing a selloff today. As of 11:10 GMT, the ASI fell by 2.05 per cent to 25,739.69 points, according to data on the NSE website.
Crude oil prices reached their lowest levels in four years on Sunday night following the decision of Saudi Arabia to slash the Official Selling Prices (OSPs) of its crude by $6-8 per barrel (pb), a move that analysts say is the beginning of a global oil price war. The decision came after Russia refused to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s proposal to stabilize the oil market by further reducing output.
OPEC had, last week, proposed additional output cut of 1.5 million barrels till the end of the year. Under the proposal OPEC's 14 members would cut one million barrels a day and Russia and other non-OPEC allied members would cut output by 500,000 barrels a day. Russia rejected the plan at a meeting in Vienna, sending prices to fall by 10 per cent to $45.27 pb on Friday.
Saudi Arabia’s move to cut its OSPs by $6-8 pb, the sharpest in decades, is also seen as a strategy to retake the country's market share, which has been eaten into by American shale oil producers as OPEC members reduced output to stabilize the market in the last few years.
As of 11.30 GMT, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US benchmark, was trading at $32.23 pb. According to Oilprice.com, the Nigerian-grade Brent crude was trading at $35.57 pb, down from $69 pb in January, before the coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak, which has weighed heavily on business activities and caused a market panic.
The respiratory disease has killed about 3,831 people, as cases have risen to 110,625 in over 100 countries, including Nigeria. Nigeria recorded the first coronavirus case at the end of last month. The second case was announced today by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
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