The dramatic crash in oil prices has returned with a vengeance.
U.S. crude futures dropped 3% Thursday, driving prices below $27 for the second time in recent weeks. Before this year, oil prices hadn’t dipped below $27 since 2003.
The steady decline is creating a widespread headache for financial markets. It’s causing energy companies’ profits to plunge, raising worries about the prospect of bankruptcies in the oil sector and spooking investors about global growth. In total, crude oil has plunged an incredible 75% from its June 2014 peak of almost $108.
The Hang Seng (HSI) dropped nearly 4% Thursday, while the Nikkei (N225) shed 2.3%. Major indexes in Europe opened roughly 2% lower. And U.S. stock futures are down nearly 2%.