Oil-price turmoil gripped traders once more Tuesday, a day after US crude futures crashed below zero for the first time as the coronavirus crisis crippled global energy demand and worsened a supply glut.
The commodity rout also sent world equity markets spiralling lower, as investors fretted it could compound an expected deep global economic downturn. WTI had Monday collapsed to an unprecedented intra-day low of minus $40.32. Negative prices mean traders must pay to find buyers to take physical possession of the oil — a job made difficult with the world’s storage capacity at bursting point.
Storage is a particularly big problem in the US where WTI oil is delivered at a single, inland point. In Europe, where Brent is the benchmark, there are several such points and their proximity to the sea allows some of it to be stored on tankers.
West Texas Intermediate (May delivery): UP 42 percent at $4.46 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate (June delivery): DOWN 28.5 percent at $14.60
Brent North Sea crude (May delivery): DOWN 22.1 percent at $19.93
Brent North Sea crude (June delivery): DOWN 23.3 percent at $19.87
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 3.0 percent at 5,641,03 points (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 4.0 percent at 10,249.85 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 3.8 percent at 4,357.46
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 4.1 percent at 2,791.34
New York – Dow: DOWN 2.6 percent at 23,031.81
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 2.0 percent at 19,280.78 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 2.2 percent at 23,793.55 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 2,827.01 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0867 from $1.0862 at 2100 GMT
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.54 yen from 107.62
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2289 from $1.2442
Euro/pound: UP at 88.44 pence from 87.30