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Trading briefly halted on Wall Street after oil price slump

The hiatus came after stocks plunged more than 7%.

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Signage for Wall Street (Martin Keene/PA)

Signage for Wall Street (Martin Keene/PA)

Signage for Wall Street (Martin Keene/PA)

Stocks plunged 7% on Wall Street on Monday, triggering a trading halt for 15 minutes.

The steep drop in New York followed similar falls in Europe after a fight among major crude-producing countries jolted investors already on edge about the widening fallout from the outbreak of the new Covid-19.

Indexes in London and Frankfurt dropped by more than 7%.

Financial Markets Wall Street
Traders prepare for the day’s activity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (Richard Drew/AP)

The benchmark for Italy, where the industrial and financial heartland was put in lockdown, fell 11%.

Oil prices are down about 20%, deepening a rout that began when Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers failed to agree on cutting output.

Bond yields sank to new lows.

Securities Exchange dropped by more than 7%.

US President Donald Trump played down the drop in the markets.

He tweeted: “Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!”

In another tweet he said: “Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!”

PA