A dive in oil prices sent stock markets lower on Monday after producers meeting in Qatar failed to agree on a plan to curb global supply.
Japan’s Nikkei index tumbled more than 3 per cent after a devastating earthquake in the southwest of the country.
Europe’s major exchanges all fell by more than half a per cent on opening while markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai lost around 1 per cent. Oil prices were down 4 per cent on the day with U.S. crude falling back below $40 for the first time in a week.
Some 18 oil-exporting nations, including OPEC members, had gathered in Doha, the capital of Qatar, over the weekend in an attempt to agree to stabilise output at January levels until October 2016.
The pact fell apart after Saudi Arabia reportedly demanded that Iran join in.
The plunge in crude oil prices took a large slice out of commodity currencies, pushing the dollar almost 1 per cent higher against its Canadian counterpart.
The yen, traditionally a target for capital in times of global stress, hit a 3-year high against the euro. It rose half a per cent against the dollar.
The 7.3 magnitude quake struck early on Saturday and was centered in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture, an important manufacturing hub.
Many are waiting for the dust to settle as it is not yet possible to quantify the damage in its entirety,” said Martin King, co-managing director at Tyton Capital Advisors.