IMF sullies sentiment
Global stocks and oil prices tumbled on Wednesday after the International Monetary Fund said the world’s economy will suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Indices in London and Frankfurt were down about 2 per cent and benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney closed lower. Wall Street futures were down by over 1.5 per cent.
The price of oil hit a new 18-year low even as the International Energy Agency said demand will drop by 9.3 million barrels a day in 2020. Demand in April will hit its lowest since 1995, it said.
The drop came despite an agreement over the weekend among Opec and other oil producers to cut output to reflect collapsing demand.
Benchmark US crude lost 40 cents to $19.71 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, declined $1.02 to $28.58 per barrel in London.