Oil prices dipped to new seven-year lows, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that global demand growth would slow in 2016, amid a supply glut that keeps pushing the prices downward. Brent futures slid 77 cents, or 1.94% to $38.97 a barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 45 cents, or 1.22% to $36.31 a barrel.
European shares suffered accordingly, pulled down by energy and mining companies, with the pan-European index FTSEurofirst 300 hitting a two-month low at 1,408, losing 1.36% for the day, and on track for a 3.5% weekly loss, the second consecutive week of above 3.0% losses. Germany's DAX underperformed the broader market, losing 250 points, or 2.36% to 10,348. France's CAC index gave up 90 points, or 1.91% to 4,547. Britain's FTSE index was particularly troubled by South Africa-based companies, like Mondi and Old Mutual, after South Africa president Zuma abruptly sacked the finance minister; the index dove to a 10-week low at 5,974, down 113 points, or 1.86%.
Wall Street opened sharply lower in tandem, with Dow Jones skidding 200 points, or 1.12% to 17,382. NASDAQ retreated 60 points, or 1.15% to 4,987. S&P 500 dropped 20 points, or 1.05% to 2,031.
Dollar tumbled against its peers, with its index down 0.41% to 97.51, as the Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 1.1% y\y in November, the tenth consecutive month of year-on-year decline. Dollar touched a three-week low against sterling at 1.5218, with a 0.38% loss. It fell to a five-week low against the yen at 121.10, down 0.40%. Dollar gave up 0.47% against the euro to 1.0992.
The slump in the dollar value gave some support to gold futures, to trade at $1,067 an ounce, down 0.40%, after going as low as 1,061 earlier. Silver futures weren't as resilient, losing 24 cents, or 1.74% to $13.86 an ounce.