Share markets and heavily commodity-dependent currencies took a fresh beating on Thursday, having been floored again by the latest plunge in oil prices, this time to below $30 a barrel. Joel Flynn reports.
Trying to get a clear view on oil's price right now is about as easy as trying to look through the stuff itself. Not so long ago many were calling the bottom at 50 dollars a barrel. But as Brent Crude slipped below 30 dollars, some say even 20 might be optimistic. Prices steadied on Thursday but remain near 12-year lows. Seven Investment Management's Justin Urquhart-Stewart. SOUNDBITE: Seven Investment Management Partner, Justin Urquhart-Stewart, saying (English): "The two key factors to look at here is one the amount of storage ability because we are running out of capacity to store the stuff, so the glut is seeping everywhere. And two more capacity comes on from Iran. And so those two figures could push this further still." European markets took a beating after heavy overnight selling from Asia. MSCI's All World stock index now at its lowest level in two and a half years. Copper too hitting six and half year lows. And at the centre of it all China. Worrying signs of weakening driving investors - although some say the sell-off might be short-sighted. SOUNDBITE: Seven Investment Management Partner, Justin Urquhart-Stewart, saying (English): "Despite all the headlines that they're seeing at the moment and the hyperbole of all of that, actually the global economy is still growing, and it's growing at over three percent a year and that is the long term average." European investors will now be looking for the latest signals of intent from Europe's central banks. Any chance of a possible rate hike in Britain - it's just been kept on hold again - pushed back by low inflation which oil prices are making even worse.