- The price of oil fell to a 12-year low of under $28 a barrel in early Wednesday trading in Asia. Light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at $27.55 a barrel at 0110 ET, the lowest intraday level since September 2003.
- Global stocks sold off following the fall in oil prices. Japanese stocks fell into what some analysts call a bear market, down more than 20% from the peak. The Nikkei 225 fell 3.7% on Wednesday, and was down 21.3% from the 17-year high it touched in June.
- Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) expects fourth-quarter profits to plunge by at least 40% from the same period last year, to between $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion, because of the collapse in crude prices. The company said its merger with BG Group will lead to 10,000 job losses, adding to the pain on the jobs front in the oil sector.
- Tesla (TSLA) sued a German parts supplier for allegedly misrepresenting its ability to design the "falcon wing" doors on its Model X electric sport-utility vehicle, leading to delays, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- As expectations build that Anglo-Australian mining group BHP Billiton (BHP) will cut its dividend, the company said it is committed to protecting its balance sheet. Besides cutting costs, Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said, "in this environment, we are also committed to protecting our strong balance sheet so we have the financial flexibility to manage further volatility and take advantage of the expected recovery in copper and oil over the medium term."
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