Alwaght- Crude prices fell for a third session on Wednesday, hitting a 17-year low amid the coronavirus outbreak and fears that containment measures could trigger a global recession.
The price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery fell six percent and was trading below $26 per barrel. If prices continue to drop, by the end of the day they could close at the lowest level since May 2003.
Futures for the international benchmark, Brent crude, were down more than three percent, trading below $28 per barrel as of 10:00am GMT.
The market rout continues as global demand for energy remains weak due to the coronavirus pandemic. The disease, which is believed to have originated in the world's largest oil consumer, China, is now raging across Europe, the US, and the Middle East, claiming around 8,000 lives around the globe and infecting nearly 200,000 people.
A price war has broken out between Saudi Arabia and Russia amid the evaporation of demand after the collapse of an agreement on withholding supply between OPEC and major producers including Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+.