March 9, 2020 / 9:12 AM / a month ago

France's urges Saudi Arabia to coordinate on oil price

PARIS, March 9 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, which holds the presidency of the G20 economic powers this year, must coordinate on oil prices to avoid economic disruption for other countries, France’s finance minister said on Monday.

Oil prices plunged more than 30% on Monday, dragging financial markets down in their wake, as Saudi Arabia opened the taps in a price war with Russia.

“I want Saudi Arabia, as president of the G20 richest countries, to enter into coordination on the oil price question so that it doesn’t shake up the markets,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Inter radio.

“In the long term, if oil prices fall too much that worries markets and has repercussions on financing for our companies and economies,” he added.

Le Maire added that oil companies should pass on the price cut “immediately to consumers at the pump”.

The sharp drop in oil prices has added to stress in the financial markets, which were already in correction territory as investors re-evaluate profit and growth perspectives in light of the coronavirus outbreak. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Richard Lough)

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