Oil plunge fuels run on energy firms as Asia stocks slump

HONG KONG: Energy firms led another stock market sell-off Monday, but analysts said a fall in oil prices to seven-year lows was driven more by fears over demand and a supply glut than the Paris climate deal.

Crude has slumped more than 12 percent since the OPEC oil producers’ group on December 4 opted against cutting its output levels, and there are warnings of further pain ahead as the global economy struggles.

Adding to the unease on trading floors is this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting that is widely expected to see US interest rates raised for the first time since 2006.

On Monday both main oil contracts fell again, with US benchmark West Texas Intermediate down 0.4 percent and Brent off 0.5 percent.

Among energy firms Sydney-based BHP Billiton shed 3.5 percent, Rio Tinto was two percent lower and Santos lost almost five percent.


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