LONDON – The price of oil fell below $33/bbl on Thursday to levels not seen in more than a decade, according to a Reuters report.
The oil price has shed around 70% since the current downturn began in June 2014, causing pain to oil companies and governments that rely heavily on crude revenues.
China let the yuan slip on Thursday, sending regional currencies and stock markets globally tumbling as the offshore yuan fell to its lowest since trading started in 2010.
According to the report, China’s stock markets were suspended less than half an hour after opening, the second emergency suspension this week.
“Negative sentiment is hurting demand expectations, growth is easing in China and there is a spillover from the inventory build in (US) gasoline stocks from yesterday and this is reflected in prices,” Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro in Amsterdam, was quoted as saying.
Brent fell more than 5%, or about $2/bbl, to a low of $32.16, a level not seen since April 2004. It had recovered to $33.45.
US crude futures dropped more than 5% to a low of $32.10/bbl, the lowest since late 2003, before bouncing slightly to $32.97.
Exacerbating the oil market woes is weakening demand, especially in Asia and especially China, which is seeing the slowest economic growth in a generation, Reuters reported.