Oil prices plunge, hit by erupting Saudi-Russia oil price war

Oil prices crashed on Monday, falling as much as 30 percent after Saudi Arabia launched a price war against Russia, escalating a clash that began last week after the world's major producers failed to agree on cuts to oil production.

The free fall stunned financial markets around the world, angering U.S. President Donald Trump, who blamed the oil fight for the steep drop in stocks, writing on Twitter: "Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop."

Riyadh slashed its crude prices over the weekend and pledged to ramp up production in retaliation against Russia for refusing to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, known as OPEC, in large production cuts as the coronavirus continues to crush oil demand.

But the oil powers on Friday failed to come to an agreement.

While crude benchmarks recouped some of their losses, they were still down about 20 percent, on track for their biggest daily fall since 1991 at the start of the first Gulf War.

Saudi Arabia's discounts will likely mean lower prices at the gas pump for U.S. drivers.

But there are worries that U.S. oil producers carrying a lot of debt could be squeezed by the plummeting prices.