BILLIONS of pounds were wiped off stock markets on a new ‘Black Monday’ after world economies were battered by a triple whammy.
The FTSE-100 collapsed by 8.4 per cent, more than 500 points, shortly after trading opened — its biggest fall since the financial crisis of 2008. It recovered slightly to close at 5,965, down 7.69 per cent.
Oil prices had their fastest single-day fall since the first Gulf War three decades ago.
Analysts blamed a crash in equities, a surge in coronavirus cases and an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia over cutting production. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell fell 22 per cent in the first 30 minutes of trading, while BP was down 19.6 per cent. Fifteen FTSE-100 companies lost more than ten per cent in the first 30 minutes. Japan’s stock market closed down 5.1 per cent, Australia’s 7.3 per cent and China’s Shanghai market three per cent.
In Italy, worst-hit in Europe by the virus, the FTSE MIB plunged by ten per cent. Wall Street trading was halted for 15 minutes as stocks fell seven per cent.
Neil Wilson, chief analyst at markets.com, said: ‘This will be remembered as Black Monday — if you thought it couldn’t get any worse than the last fortnight, think again. It’s utter carnage out there.’
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said he expects price cuts of up to 10p a litre in the next few days.