Petroleum futures tumbled Monday after OPEC ministers said they would accept lower prices to maintain their share of the world oil market.
Crude oil and oil products fell by their daily limits on the New York Mercantile Exchange, touching off heavy selling in precious metals prices and a major rally in financial instruments. However, oil analysts said they were puzzled by the ferocity of the oil sell-off.
"That's a very, very violent reaction to something that is just in the proposal stage," said Ed Dellamonte, a petroleum analyst in New York with Prudential-Bache Securities.
Precious metals prices fell sharply at the Commodity Exchange in New York, as lower oil prices mean less inflation, said Jack Barbanel, director of the futures trading division of Gruntal & Co. in New York. Silver prices fell to life of contract lows.
Grain and soybean futures prices were mixed on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Livestock and meat prices were sharply higher as a severe winter storm with heavy snow raced across the Great Plains.