Global stock markets sink … Houthis warn of more oil facility attacks … Crude prices sharply higher
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets sank today after crude prices surged following an attack on Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil processing facility. Market benchmarks in London and Frankfurt opened lower while Jakarta’s benchmark lost 1.8%. Shanghai was unchanged, and Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow and S&P futures each down 0.4%.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are warning of more attacks on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and are urging foreign companies doing business in the kingdom to stay away from its energy sites. A spokesman for the Houthis says facilities such as the Abqaiq oil processing plant and a key Saudi oil field that were hit this weekend “could be targeted at any time.”
UNDATED (AP) – The loss of 5% of world crude oil output from an attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant pushed crude prices sharply higher today. U.S. crude oil was trading 9% higher while Brent crude added more than 9.4%. The attack on the Saudi Aramco facility halted output of more than half of Saudi Arabia’s daily exports. That’s especially worrying for oil thirsty Asia: China, Japan, South Korea and India are major customers for Saudi oil.
DETROIT (AP) – Contract talks between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have deteriorated into a strike. More than 49,000 UAW members walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday, shutting down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S., as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses. The union says GM has budged little in months of talks over wages, plant closures and other issues.
UNDATED (AP) – The maker of OxyContin has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a move to settle some 2,600 lawsuits – most from state and local governments. Purdue Pharma and its owners have expressed sympathy but not responsibility for the nation’s opioid crisis, saying, “Like families across America, we have deep compassion for the victims of the opioid crisis.” About half the plaintiffs have agreed a tentative settlement, which the company says could be worth up to $12 billion over time.