Oil prices plummeted to $29 a barrel on Friday on the likely resumption soon of Iranian oil exports into an already flooded market as international sanctions against Iran are lifted, dragging equity indices around the world sharply lower.
Skittish investors snapped up gold and other safe-haven assets amid fears of a global economic slowdown, coupled with concerns about a potential credit default as lower commodity prices make payments by creditors in emerging markets difficult.
Major stock indices in Europe closed down more than 2 percent, while Wall Street stock indexes tumbled even more. Global crude benchmark Brent settled below $29 a barrel, capping a 13 percent decline for the week.
“We’re seeing the final capitulation,” said Tina Byles Williams, chief investment officer at FIS Group in Philadelphia, which oversees about $4.4 billion in assets under management.