Asian markets plunge after steep fall in oil prices

Asian markets plunge after steep fall in oil prices

Stocks plummet around 6% in Tokyo, Sydney

BEIJING — Asian stock markets plunged Monday after global oil prices nosedived on worries a global economy weakened by a virus outbreak might be awash in too much crude.

Tokyo’s benchmark tumbled more than 6%, while Sydney, Seoul and Hong Kong posted steep losses as well. Shares also sank in Middle East trading on Sunday.

Markets already were troubled by the potential impact of the virus outbreak that began in China and has disrupted travel and trade.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil producers are arguing over how much to cut output to prop up prices. U.S. crude CLJ20, -23.69% fell 26% or $10.75 to $30.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, BRNK20, -22.95% used for international pricing, dropped 25%, or $11.40 to $33.87 per barrel.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 NIK, -5.06% fell 6.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -4.23% sank 3.9%, while the the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -3.00% was off 2.2%.

The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -7.32% in Sydney fell 5.8%. The Kospi 180721, -4.18% in Seoul lost 4.2%.

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