Oil prices reached levels that have not been seen since the early 2000’s on Thursday. Prices have fallen by 12% since Tuesday, marking the worst three-day plunge for oil in the year. Lower oil prices around the world are being fueled by China’s struggling economy and news that the country’s Shanghai composite index fell by 7% on Thursday, causing China’s stock markets to close after being open for just under a half hour.
Brent crude oil fell over 5% to its lowest level in 12 years following weaker demand in China, but has since recovered slightly, currently down 0.42% on the day.
European stocks are down across the board on Thursday, with the DAX 30 down 1.34%. Analysts are worried that the current outlook for 2016 will be rather dim following the first four days of the year. China halted its stock market twice this week after plunging 7% both times, and oil is down over 12% during just the first four days of trading.
China is also struggling to maintain the yuan’s value, which has lowered sentiment even further.
WTI crude oil is trading down 1.59%, currently at $33.43 a barrel. Natural gas is up 6.13% on the day, and crude oil prices in Tokyo have risen by 1.58% on Thursday.