Oil prices plunge and trigger global market sell-off

NEW YORK (TIP): Energy companies were pummeled as the price of crude oil sank 7 percent hit new lows of less than$27 a barrel, threatening more damage to an industry that has already been stricken with bankruptcies, layoffs and other cutbacks.

The price of U.S. crude fell below $27 a barrel amid a global glut in oil supplies that seems to be getting worse. That’s the lowest price since May 2003 and a far cry from the $100 a barrel it fetched in the summer of 2014.

Wednesday, January 20

US stocks sank more than 2 per cent, with petroleum stocks diving, joining Asia and Europe in a sell-off prompted by sliding oil prices and worries about lower growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 428.81 points at 15,587.21 in early trade.

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Falling crude price and weakening global sentiments hit Indian bourses hard with the benchmark indices sinking to 20-month lows. Coinciding with this, the rupee breached the 68/$ mark, the lowest level since September 2013, before closing at 67.96.

All the indices on the NSE ended in┬áthe red, with Nifty PSU bank, Nifty Realty and Nifty Metal being the top three losers. Vedanta, Hindalco Industries, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India were the top five losers in the Nifty 50. India VIX, which measures the market’s expectation of volatility in the near term, jumped 13.75 per cent to 20.9650.

Once market favorites, mid- and small-caps are taking a beating. Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 declined 1.8 per cent and 2.37 per cent, respectively.

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