One bit of collateral damage from the coronavirus and the recent drop in the stock markets: Oil prices are falling through the floor, and look to be headed even lower. U.S. oil benchmarks plummeted to multiyear lows on Friday, with West Texas Intermediate sinking more than 10 percent to $41.28, its lowest level since 2016.
Oil prices are now down 30 percent for the year, and could fall further given reports of a possible increase in production by Saudi Arabia. OPEC and non-OPEC producers are preparing for an all-out price war, in a sudden U-turn from previous attempts to support the oil market as the coronavirus hammers global demand.
Consumers could see gasoline prices drop below $2 per gallon in upcoming days, according to some economic pundits. The decline in crude oil prices could add as much as 0.50 percent to U.S. GDP if the drop is sustained.