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Oil slumps to lowest level since 2016 due to demand crunch over coronavirus

Oil prices have plunged in the region [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 March, 2020

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Oil prices have plunged further as global consumption shrinks.
Oil markets have been hit hard by a further drop in prices, which on Monday plunged to the lowest levels since 2016.

Oil lost a quarter of its value last week as prices fell another 9 percent on Monday, with countries across the world introducing a raft of measures to tackle the coronavirus.

These include closing borders, limiting travel and announcing curfews which have hit demand for oil.

This has led to price of oil dropping below the $30 mark, with Brent trading at $30.37 and US West Texas Intermediate crude being sold at $29.19.

US cities have closed bars and restaurants in a bid to spread the coronavirus, while Washington decided to restrict entry to European tourists.

Across the Middle East, countries have announced flight bans or restricted entry to foreigners. Oman and Qatar over the weekend froze outside tourism.

Other countries across the world have gone into lockdown as the coronavirus death toll mounts, with Iran announcing on Monday that 129 more people have died from the virus.

"The demand drop unfolding is like nothing anyone has ever witnessed," Simmons Energy analyst Pearce Hammond said, according to CNBC.

Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil company, has seen profits plunge amid the reduced prices.

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