Protests against China’s zero-COVID policies caused global markets to sink on Monday as fears mounted over demand for oil and supply chain disruptions in the world’s second-largest economy.
The price of oil sank to its lowest level this year, as markets reacted to the possibility that demand for crude in China could fall as a result of the protests, Reuters reports. Crude oil prices stood at $74 per barrel early Monday.
Global markets also recorded lower share prices. NASDAQ fell by 0.52%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.03%. Share prices declined for Chinese businesses that trade in the U.S. too: Alibaba Group plunged 3.41%.
Apple’s shares fell 1.96% before markets opened Monday, due in large part to worker unrest at a manufacturing facility in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. The hub, which is responsible for manufacturing Apple’s popular iPhone Pros, is expected to see a significant drop in production as a result of worker shortages and COVID-19 lockdowns. Tesla, similarly, was down 0.19% before the start of trading.
Protesters in China are pushing back against the country’s strict zero-COVID restrictions, which have been among the tightest in the world.
The demonstrations, which have erupted nationwide, were triggered by a fire in the western city of Urumqi in Xinjiang, which reportedly killed 10 people. Lockdown measures interfered with rescue teams that responded to the scene.