• Oil prices tumbled as much as 34% – their most in decades – between Sunday and Monday.
  • In later trading prices stabilized to about 21% below the previous day’s.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indices both slumped around 7% when trading opened in New York on Monday.
  • The dramatic plunge was prompted by Saudi Arabia, which sharply cut prices. It was a response to Russia, which over the weekend refused to restrict how much oil it was producing.
  • This was the biggest single-day drop since the Gulf War in 1991.
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The price of oil tumbled more than 30% on Monday, its sharpest single-day decline since the Gulf War in 1991.

The price recovered somewhat after that initial fall and was trading about 21% down in the early morning.

At their lowest, oil prices were down 34%, CNN reported.

As of 10:50 a.m. ET, according to data from investing.com:

  • Brent crude was trading at $36.42 a barrel - down about 19%.
  • West Texas intermediate was trading at $33.50 a barrel - down about 19%.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average index was down 1,551 points - a drop of 6%.
  • The S&P 500 index was down 173 points - a drop of 5.8%.
  • The UK FTSE 100 index was down about 499 points - a drop of 7%.

The crash was fueled by sinking demand amid the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, which in turn sparked a series of price cuts.

Saudi Arabia started the price wars by cutting prices by its most in at least 20 years over the weekend, retaliation after a dispute with Russia on Friday over how much to restrict production.

At a meeting in Vienna, Saudi officials asked Russia to cut back on production, hoping to keep the price higher during the outbreak.

Russia refused. As a result, the Saudis cut their prices, effectively launching three-way price war between the OPEC oil-producing alliance (led by Saudi Arabia), Russia, and the US.

Goldman Sachs analysts have warned that the price of oil could tumble further still, as low as $20 a barrel.

The prices of oil companies were also down, with BP shares experiencing price drops of as much as 20% and Shell of 14%.

Markets and assets across the board were also hit hard by the crash, Business Insider's Theron Mohamed reported.

Click here to follow the price of Brent crude oil live.

And here to follow West Texas intermediate live.