And now a global oil crisis hits home as well. Oil prices have crashed into negative territory after global coronavirus-related travel restrictions impacted demand.
After addressing the early crisis with ‘lockdowns’ and social distancing, now the narrative pivots to lifting stay-at-home orders and re-opening economies. Some European countries have taken tentative steps to ease restrictions as coronavirus death rates start to fall in some nations. Even in the US the national rates of new infections continues to rise, although the rate is starting to show signs of flattening out.
Whilst government’s are trying to tackle the thorny questions of when and how to ease restrictions, there’s now been an unprecedented collapse of global oil prices, which traded in negative territory for the first time ever. The collapse will add further ‘fuel’ to the arguments for a quicker unshackling of the people’s lives and the global economy.
Whilst billions of people have been staying at home to help limit the spread of Covid-19, and oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia in a price war, an oil glut has pushed US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery prices down to -$37.63 per barrel. Yes, that’s MINUS $37.63. That means the oil companies are paying you take away their barrels at the moment.
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