Crude oil price war causes Dow futures to plummet 1,000 points

Dow futures dropped around 1,000 points on Sunday as a decision by Saudi oil executives to cut prices looked ready to ignite a global price war on crude oil.

CNBC reported Sunday evening that futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped nearly 1,100 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 also reportedly looked ready to open with losses on Monday.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the price on Brent oil, considered a global benchmark for crude prices, dropped around 20 percent following Saudi Arabia's move in what was reportedly the sharpest decline of that resource since 1991.


“If a true price war ensues, there will be plenty of pain in the oil markets,” Badr Jafar, president of Emirati oil company Crescent Petroleum told the Times. “Many will be bracing for the economic and geopolitical shocks of a low-price environment.”

Saudi Arabia's price cut looked to be aimed at retaliating at Russian officials, who on Friday declined to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in agreeing to a worldwide reduction in oil production in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has slowed the global demand for oil.

“Crude has become a bigger problem for markets than the coronavirus,” former JPMorgan analyst Adam Crisafulli told CNBC. "It will be virtually impossible for the [S&P 500] to sustainably bounce if Brent continues to crater."

More than 109,000 confirmed cases of the novel form of coronavirus have been confirmed around the world, with the majority of deaths being reported in mainland China, where the virus is thought to have originated.