Russian stocks plunged on Monday, reaching their lowest levels since December 2011 as investors took flight over Greece’s political deadlock and Europe’s mounting debt crisis, and also by the Saudi oil minister’s statement of global oil oversupply.
Russia’s ruble-denominated MICEX stock index had fallen 3.10 percent to 1,342.86 points by 5:53 p.m. Moscow time, while the dollar-denominated RTS sank 3.18 percent to 1,407.71.
On international oil markets, Brent crude for June deliveries fell by $1.90 to $110.40 per barrel in London afternoon trading, hovering at a four-month low.
The oil price downfalls were triggered by a statement made by Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi that oil supply considerably exceeded demand on global crude markets and the Brent North Sea benchmark could plummet to $100 per barrel soon.
Another factor was the political deadlock in Greece, now teetering on the brink of a sovereign default after the country’s main political parties failed to narrow their disagreements over a painful bailout deal struck with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in exchange for tight austerity measures.