Crude oil is getting crushed to start the week.
Several oil producers, responsible for almost half of the world’s output, failed to reach a production-freeze agreement at a meeting in Doha on Sunday. An agreement could have helped lift oil prices.
And just after the futures market opened around 6 p.m. ET, West Texas Intermediate crude fell 6% to as low as $39.02 per barrel.
Brent crude, the international benchmark of oil prices, fell nearly 7%.
Some analysts had called this the most important oil meeting in decades. It was widely expected that the meeting would end without an agreement.
Oil prices jumped last week, with WTI reaching a year-to-date high above $40 per barrel, after headlines crossed that OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia and Russia had agreed to freeze production.
But Iran was always the huge uncertainty. Iran recently struck a deal that restricts its nuclear program, and in tandem, lifts economic sanctions – meaning it would be able to export oil.
And so with all the talk of holding production levels, Iran was looking to hit its target of 4 million barrels per day.
Saudi had maintained it would not sign a deal without Iran’s involvement.
After news of the non-agreement in Doha crossed, commodity currencies including the Canadian Dollar and the Australian Dollar fell.