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US Oil Prices Plunge to Less Than Zero

By VOA News April 20, 2020

An historic crash in U.S. oil prices to less than zero sent Wall Street tumbling Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 592 points – a 2% drop. The S&P 500 was also off 2% and the Nasdaq was down 1%.

Major European indexes in Frankfurt, London and Paris were all up a fraction while Asian markets were mixed.

The contracted May price of a barrel of Texas crude oil slipped to minus $37.63 Monday – a 100% drop.

U.S. refineries are full and cannot store any more product. Demand is way down because hardly anyone can travel.

The price for Brent crude, the benchmark for two-thirds of the world's oil contracts, also dipped, but not nearly as much, off more than 5% to $26.59 a barrel.

The 13-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia and other oil producers, agreed a week ago to start cutting production by 9.7 million barrels a day on May 1, extending through June, in an effort to prop up prices.

But the planned production cut has so far failed to stem the oil price decline.



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