Investors needn’t another layer of uncertainty, but received one anyway over the weekend after a meeting of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partner countries (together OPEC+) collapsed. Saudi Arabia slashed prices and matched threats from Russia to increase production. Meantime, COVID-19 cases surged in the U.S. and in Europe, with sovereign and local governments implementing increasingly strict measures to contain the spread. With global growth already suffering from coronavirus pressures, contagion took on another meaning as investors began to worry about an oil sector-driven credit crisis. Risk markets tanked around the world as U.S. Treasuries soaked up that anxiety. When we wrote in last month’s commentary that we always should be expecting the unexpected, we didn’t think we’d find so soon such a stark example.
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