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US oil prices tumble into negative territory for first time

Oil prices end New York trading in the negative for the first time ever, as a supply glut forced traders to pay others to take the commodity.

With scarce space to store oil, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery ends trading at -$37.63 a barrel ahead of tomorrow’s close for futures contracts — when traders who buy and sell the commodity for profit would have had to take physical possession of it.

The unprecedented price drop is a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the global economy by forcing billions of people to stay home to stop its spread, and an ongoing price war between top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.

That price war contributed to an oversupply that drove crude lower, to the disadvantage of US shale producers.

— AFP

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