U.S. Crude Ends 25% Down for Worst Day in Almost 30 Years
By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com – Oil suffered its biggest one-day drop in almost 30 years as U.S. crude futures ended down 25% Monday from the one-two punch of a Saudi-Russian price war in crude and panic selling across markets on coronavirus fears.
, the benchmark for U.S. crude prices, settled down $10.15, or 24.6%, at $31.13 per barrel, its largest one-day decline since 1991.
WTI earlier fell to $27.34, its lowest since February 2016. With the combination of last week’s drop of 10%, U.S. crude is off 42% in just six days of trading. Year to date, WTI is down almost 50%, just slightly behind the 53% it lost for all 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
, the London-traded global benchmark for crude, lost $10.91, or 24%, to close at $34.36. Brent slumped to $31.02 earlier, a bottom since February 2016. Last week it fell 10%.
“It’s the perfect storm for oil that no one could have imagined — an OPEC bust-up, followed by a Saudi-Russian fight for market share and city lockdowns in Italy and elsewhere from the coronavirus,” said John Kilduff, founding partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital. “What more could an oil bear ask?”
The worst selloff in oil in three decades came after Russia refused to join the Saud-led OPEC in deeper output cuts of some 1.5 million barrels per day that would have extended their OPEC+ agreement for a fourth-straight time to mitigate demand lost to the novel coronavirus. The Kremlin indicated after the Friday’s failed talks that it will maximize output from April 1 onward while Saudi Arabia immediately announced about 1 million bpd more in its production target and lower selling prices for its crude.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) heightened the selloff on Monday by saying oil could fall to as low as $20 a barrel, a level not seen in 18 years.
The International Energy Agency said if the coronavirus continues to spread globally and China’s need for oil remains subdued, global oil demand could fall by as much as 730,000 barrels a day in 2020 — the first full-year decline in more than a decade.
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