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Oil crashes to historic low of minus $37pb as the US Dow Jones index falls by 500 points erasing most of the gains of the Trump administration

Oil traders have fled from the expiring May US oil futures contract yesterday Monday, sending the contract into negative territory for the first time in history, as barely any buyers are willing to take delivery of oil barrels because there is no place to put the crude as fears of storage costs grow.

May US crude futures plunged to a depth never before seen, settling on the day at minus $37.63 a barrel, a decline of some 305%, or $55.90 a barrel. Prices set a low of negative $40.32. 

With demand down 30% worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the main US storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma expected to fill up in a matter of weeks, very few want to be stuck with oil barrels that they have to take delivery on at some point during May.

Meanwhile, stocks also slipped on Wall Street with the Dow Jones dropping 595 points lower, or 2.5%. The S&P500 dropped 1.8% and the Nasdaq pulled back 1%.  

The losses ate into some of the big gains the market has made since late March, driven lately by investors looking ahead to parts of the economy possibly reopening as infections level off in hard-hit areas.