Stock markets set to plunge at the start of the trading day, oil falls


The futures market suggested U.S. stocks were set to plunge when the trading day begins as the price of oil fell and the loonie sank against the U.S. dollar.

The collapse in the price of oil came after Saudi Arabia, Russia and other major oil producers failed to agree on how much to cut output to prop up prices.

Stock markets have been hammered in recent weeks due to investor concerns about the impact of the new coronavirus on the global economy.

The April crude contract was down US$9.37 at US$31.91 per barrel, while the loonie traded at 73.24 cents US compared with an average of 74.51 cents US on Friday.

The drop on U.S. stock markets was set to follow in the wake of a drop in stock markets around the world.

The main stock indexes in London and Frankfurt dropped by more than eight per cent at the opening. Tokyo closed down 5.1 per cent while Sydney lost 7.3 per cent and Shanghai was off three per cent.

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