The rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran has quickly ballooned into the worst conflict in decades between the two countries. even though it remains a remote possibility, direct military confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran could well put oil back into triple-digit territory in short order.
Oil fell below $33 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since April 2004 as a slide in Chinese shares rattled investors already concerned by near-record production and massive stockpiles of unwanted crude and refined products.
A dearth of debt refinancing and a slump in lending to low-rated oil and gas companies dragged bank earnings from underwriting leveraged loans to a three-year low in 2015, according to Freeman Consulting Services.
Global shares tumbled for a sixth day on Thursday and oil prices slid to levels not seen since the early 2000s, after China guided the yuan lower and Shanghai shares tumbled 7% in less than half an hour.