FTSE 100 index opened this morning 21st April 2020 and had fallen more than 1.7% in the first 30 minutes of trading following oil prices falling dramatically last night in the US. At one point, oil prices staggeringly went negative.
US West Texas intermediate (WIT) hit a minus $37.68 a barrel then recovered after producers started paying buyers for barrels as the worried that storage capacity may run out in May.
Brent crude fell slightly this morning by 3.5%.
Oil prices did recover slightly but the price per barrel was still less than $2.
Royal Dutch Shell and BP, accounts for 8.4% and 8% of the FTSE 100 index, whilst BG Group accounted for a further 2.8% and Tullow Oil and Cairn Energy had a combined 1% weighting. That's over 20% of FTSE 100 is made up by oil and petroleum firms.
Following coronavirus travel restrictions and a huge reduction in demand for fuel, 'black gold' has suffered significant damage.
In a bid to support the US drilling industry, US President, Donald Trump said he is considering stopping crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia.
We are living in extraordinary times.