Oil prices tumbled to fresh lows in Asian trade Monday, in line with the selloff in wider financial markets, as investors were shaken by the rout in Chinese equity markets and worries about global economic growth.
Brent crude, the global oil-price benchmark, dropped below the $45 a barrel mark for the first time since March 2009. It is now trading around 56% lower from its year-high of $103.19 a barrel reached in August last year.
Oil prices have been under pressure for several months due to oversupply concerns, but the slump deepened in recent weeks on fears of a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy and its impact on global markets. The recent devaluation of the yuan also added to market uncertainty, stoking concerns that China’s oil and commodities imports could fall further.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at $39.70 a barrel, down $0.75 in the Globex electronic session. October Brent crude onLondon’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.73 to $44.73 a barrel.