Oil prices plunge to 20-year low as Covid-19 demand hit deepens – business live

Rolling live coverage of business, economics and financial markets

8.03am BST

The FTSE 100 has gained 0.4% in the first exchanges in a relatively gentle start for these volatile times. FTSE 100 investors endured a rocky ride last week, with the index falling back before recovering some of its losses on Friday.

In Germany the benchmark Dax gained 0.7%, while France’s Cac 40 gained 0.7% and Spain’s Ibex rose by 0.6%.

7.53am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of business, economics and financial markets.

The US oil price benchmark has hit its lowest level since March 1999, with investors seeing little in the way of demand growth while coronavirus lockdowns continue in the world’s largest economies.

With above-ground storage bulging at the seams, WTI’s only hope, it appears, is for production cut action from the impending decisions of state authorities in Texas and Oklahoma, and lots of producers going out of business.

China cut its benchmark lending rate as expected on Monday to reduce borrowing costs for companies and prop up the coronavirus-hit economy, after it contracted for the first time in decades.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 20 basis points (bps) to 3.85% from 4.05% previously, while the five-year LPR was cut by 10 bps to 4.65% from 4.75%.

Continue reading…