Oil-price rout sinks markets


Associated Press

NEW YORK

Another sharp drop in the price of oil prompted investors to dump stocks again, leaving the U.S. market with its worst weekly loss since the summer.

Oil and gas companies led stocks lower Friday, capping an ugly week. Southwestern Energy plunged 14 percent, and Chesapeake Energy sank 9 percent.

Investors sought refuge in bonds. Treasury prices rose, sending yields lower.

The price of oil continued to fall as investors anticipated more oversupply just as global demand weakens.

U.S. crude slumped 3 percent to $35 a barrel, the lowest price since early 2009.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 309 points, or 1.8 percent, to 17,265.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 gave up 39 points, or 1.9 percent, to 2,012. The Nasdaq declined 111 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,933.

The price of oil fell further after the International Energy Agency said that oversupply would continue until late next year and demand would weaken.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.14, or 3 percent, to close at $35.62 a barrel in New York. Oil has been falling for 11/2 years and is at its lowest level since early 2009.

Investors are cautious ahead of a batch of monthly economic data expected today, including retail sales, fixed asset investment and industrial production. Further out, a report on foreign direct investment in China is due Wednesday. The latest figures will provide an update on the world’s second biggest economy, which is struggling with a stubborn downturn.

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