Crude oil prices plummeted to their lowest levels since January 2002, as huge crude stockpile and continued to concerns about the outlook for near to medium term energy demand weighed heavily on the commodity.
Although a report about a potential remedy to the coronavirus infection, and the U.S. President’s plans to ease restrictions on lockdown in the country and re-open the economy in a phased manner lifted global stock markets up sharply, worries about China’s sagging economy sent oil prices crashing to record lows today.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended down $1.60, or a little over 8%, at $18.27 a barrel, after plunging to a low of $17.31. Today’s closed was the lowest for a front-month contract since January 2002.
Crude oil futures shed almost 20% in the week, going down for a seventh time in the last eight weeks.
The May WTI contracts expire coming Tuesday. WTI futures for June were trading around $25 a barrel when the session ended.
A report from Baker Hughes said the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 66 to 438 this week, dropping for a fifth straight week. The total active rig count in the U.S. now stands at 529, having dropped by 73 this week.
China’s first quarter GDP shrank 6.8% in 2020 as compared to a year ago, marking the first quarterly decline since 1992.
Fixed asset investment in the first quarter tumbled an annual 16.1% and industrial production dipped 1.1% year-on-year in March, while retail sales plunged 15.8% in the month, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com