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Oil slumps to lowest since 2003 on global recession threat

The oil price continued its free fall, hitting the lowest level in almost 17 years as the coronavirus outbreak looks on track to halt the global economy.

Photo: Maxim Shemetov/REUTERS / X90156

Oil extended its slide to the lowest level in almost 17 years as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to bring the global economy to a standstill, battering demand just as supply explodes.

Futures in New York fell as much as 4.2% to $25.83 a barrel, the lowest since May 2003, extending losses this week to almost 18% in the most volatile trading on record. The last time crude traded near this level was when severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, hit Asia.

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