Stocks worldwide are collapsing Monday, as oil prices crashed amid continued uncertainty part due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, triggering selloffs worldwide.
Global markets had already been battered -- about $9 trillion was wiped off global stocks in nine days, Bank of America said in a research note after US markets closed deep in the red again on Thursday.
Here's how markets in Asia-Pacific opened Monday:
- Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 5.9%, putting the index on pace for its biggest plunge since October 2008
- Japan's Nikkei 225 sank nearly 5% and was last below 20,000 points, heading for its lowest close in more than a year
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost more than 4% after markets opened, setting the index up for its biggest decline in more than two years
- South Korea's Kospi fell 3%
- China's Shanghai Composite dropped 2%
Wall Street has been facing heavy losses for the past several weeks due to fears surrounding the coronavirus. During the last week of February, US stocks had their worst week since the financial crisis, and the economic disruption caused by the virus doesn't appear to be letting up.
But the crash in oil prices appears to be making things worse. Prices began to suffer after a historic collapse Sunday, when Saudi Arabia shocked the market by launching a price war against onetime ally Russia.
US oil prices crashed as much as 27% to a four-year low of $30 a barrel as traders brace for Saudi Arabia to flood the market with crude in a bid to recapture market share.
Crude was recently trading down 22% to $32 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, also plunged 22% to $35 a barrel. Both oil contracts are on track for their worst day since 1991, according to Refinitiv, a financial intelligence firm.