By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com
Oil prices fell back suddenly over the last few trading sessions, dragged down by some forces beyond the oil market.
The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its steepest decline since June 2016 on Friday, amid wider losses in United States markets. The fall came after a string of disappointing earnings reports from giants such as Apple.
The Dow Jones index climbed more than 300 points (1.5 percent), by the afternoon, coming back from an abrupt 750-point plunge as election results came in. Stock markets reversed overnight losses stemming from the shock of Donald Trump's upset victory and and the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to what would be a record closing high as investors assimilated the implications of the Republican return to the White House.
US markets rose sharply after minutes from the September meeting of the Federal Reserve were released. The transcript indicated that US central bankers were wary of raising rates too soon. Officials were worried markets were too focused on a rate rise happening during a specific period of time.
US economy added 288,000 jobs in June, latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%, its lowest level since September 2008.
The U.S. Federal Reserve will start scaling back its monthly bond-buying program as early as next month, but the reduction will be gradual. The Federal Reserve has been buying 85 billion dollars a month in government bonds in an effort to keep interest rates low and boost economic growth.
Asian shares were mixed on Thursday as fears about the European debt crisis overshadowed the region's growth prospects. Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 1.3%, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng also dropping by 1.5%.
Asian equity markets were sharply down early Tuesday as investors fearing a possible global economic slowdown continued to flee stocks as had happened earlier in Europe, United States and Latin America.
Wall Street dropped on worries about a possible downgrade of the United States' top credit rating and signs of economic weakness even as the US Congress passed on Tuesday a bill to avoid a debt default.
Global stock markets soared after the European Union and International Monetary Fund intervened to stop the Greek debt crisis spreading and support the weakened Euro.