Global stock markets and oil prices plunged on Monday after a fight among major crude-producing nations jolted investors who were on edge about the surging costs of a virus outbreak.
The main stock indexes in Britain and Germany were down by almost 7%. Japan’s benchmark closed down 5.1% while Australia’s lost 7.3% and the Shanghai market in China was off 3%.
Trading in Wall Street futures was halted for this first time since the 2016 U.S. presidential election after they fell more than the daily limit of 5%. Bond yields hit new lows as investors bought them up as safe havens.
The benchmark U.S. crude price was down over 20%, the biggest daily drop since the Gulf war in 1991 to hit their lowest levels since 2016.
Investors already were on edge about the mounting costs of the coronavirus outbreak that began in China and has disrupted world travel and trade.
Chinese factories that make the world’s smartphones, toys and other consumer goods are gradually reopening but aren’t expected to return to normal production until at least April. That weighs on demand for imports of components and raw materials from China’s Asian neighbours.