US oil prices fall below zero for the first time ever

New York/Hong Kong (CNN Business)US oil prices are back in positive territory after a stunning collapse Monday that saw levels crash below zero, trading at the lowest level since NYMEX opened futures trading in 1983. Asian stocks retreated in morning trade Tuesday, while US stock futures were muted.

US oil futures popped more than 100% — albeit to trade at just $1.43 a barrel. The May contract for West Texas International, which expires Tuesday, finished regular trading Monday at -$37.63 a barrel.
The June contract, which is now being traded more actively, rose 4.7% to $21.39 a barrel during Asian trading hours, still a troublesomely low number.

    The coronavirus pandemic has caused oil demand to drop so rapidly that the world is running out of room to store barrels. At the same time, Russia and Saudi Arabia flooded the world with excess supply. Analysts also attributed Monday’s plunge to frantic last minute trading because of the quickly expiring May contract.
    “Regardless of what OPEC does, there will be structural demand loss for oil due to less travel,” wrote Stephen Innes chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp in a Tuesday research note. “At a minimum, oil prices will be the last asset class to recover from lockdown.”

    Futures for Brent crude, the global benchmark, moved slightly lower to $25.49 a barrel on Tuesday.
    Asian stocks, meanwhile, accelerated early losses. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) tumbled 2.7%. South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI) declined 1.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) fell 1.2%. China’s Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) lost 1.1%.
    US stock futures were higher after hours, though pared gains as the night went on. Dow futures were last up 15 points, or about 0.1%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% and Nasdaq futures were up about 0.1%.

      Earlier, the Dow (INDU) closed 592 points lower, or 2.4%, marking the worst day for the index since April 1. The S&P 500 (SPX) finished down 1.8% and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) closed 1% lower.
      — Anneken Tappe and Matt Egan contributed to this report.
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