Oil and gas producers dropped to their lowest level in almost four years as collapsing markets in China heightened concern that demand will falter in the world’s second-largest destination for crude, aggravating a glut from North American shale and the Persian Gulf.
An index of 40 energy explorers declined 3.7 percent at 10:30 a.m. in New York trading, after earlier tumbling as much as 5.5 percent to the lowest since October 2011. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the biggest U.S. oil companies, racked up losses of as much as 8 percent shortly after domestic equity markets opened on Monday.
Stocks around the world plunged as a rout that began with the Aug. 11 devaluation of China’s yuan rippled through European and U.S. markets. Commodities fell to a 16-year low, Treasury yields dipped and U.S. crude fell below $38 a barrel for the first time since February 2009.